**FILE** Courtesy of bricinc.org
**FILE** Courtesy of bricinc.org

Bridging Resources in Communities, Inc. (BRIC) says that it has received $35,000 from AmeriGroup DC to support its health education and drug prevention programs.

The partnership with AmeriGroup DC will let BRIC create new programs to educate residents of Wards 5, 7 and 8 on the dangers of drug use, according to a press release Thursday announcing the move.

Last year, with the pandemic in the city, 411 people died from opioid overdoses — almost double the number of homicides, statistics show.

Wards 5, 7 and 8 constitute almost 66% of the deaths due to drug-related issues. Between January and August 2021, there have been 288 fatal overdoses, with Wards 5, 7 and 8 continuing to have the bulk of the deaths.

For people ages 16-29, there have 38 overdose deaths among that group in 2020 and 27 so far this year.

AmeriGroup DC plans to work with BRIC to host a series of community conversations and leadership training, also.

“These alarming numbers show the need is great, our work is necessary, and we thank AmeriGroup DC for its support of BRIC’s efforts,” said BRIC CEO Rosalind Parker.

Adrian Jordan, AmeriGroup DC president, said supporting BRIC is critical at this time.

“As the District of Columbia struggles with one of the highest opioid overdose per capita rates in the country, AmeriGroup is providing resources to increase awareness about the opioid epidemic and access to Naxalone and other harm reduction tools to reduce fatalities,” Jordan said.

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