United Way of Forsyth County needs your support and your donations to continue the fight against substance abuse in our community. As stated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:
Substance abuse has a major impact on individuals, families, and communities. The effects of substance abuse are cumulative, significantly contributing to costly social, physical, mental, and public health problems.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “the abuse of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs…exacts more than $740 billion annually in costs related to crime, lost work productivity, and health care.”
Today in Forsyth County, we know many individuals and their families are struggling with addiction. Did you know that in 2015, among high school students in Forsyth County, 1 in 4 said they were offered, sold, or given illegal drugs on school property during the last 12 months? And 1 in 8 high school students reported that they had had 5 or more drinks of alcohol within a couple hours on one or more days in the last 30 days? 
The opioid epidemic in the United States has understandably received a great deal of attention recently. Winston-Salem and Forsyth County are not excluded from this epidemic. Here in Forsyth County, the number of opiate related deaths increased from 13 in 2005 to 53 in 2015 – an increase of over 300%, as compared to a 73% increase in all of North Carolina over that same period.
United Way’s Support of Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Programs
Substance abuse and its impacts are just as debilitating as any other disease. At United Way of Forsyth County, we are committed to support programs that help our neighbors dealing with substance abuse and addiction to find the treatment and resources they need to live a healthy life. Here are just some of the programs we support focused on this issue:
Community Care Center – Integrating Primary Medical Care into a Substance Abuse/Mental Health Setting
This is a pilot program to embed primary care provider at Insight Human Services for low-income, uninsured clients who do not have a medical home and frequently use emergency room for non-emergency medical care.
Fellowship Home – Comprehensive Relapse Prevention Program
Helps men who are dealing with major substance abuse disorders achieve multi-faceted goals in treatment, employment, personal relationships and managing finances.
Insight NC – Forsyth Integrated Health Network
Provides low income persons with behavioral health intervention services who may also require the intervention of primary care to improve physical health.
YWCA – Hawley House/Supportive Services
Helps women who are dealing with major substance abuse disorders successfully remain free from addiction, improve overall health, manage finances, solidify employment and obtain reliable housing.
How You Can Help
United Way partners with groups from across Forsyth County, including local businesses, governments, hospitals, faith-based organizations, and residents, to maximize donor investments and give all our residents the fundamentals of a good life: education, financial stability and health.
The money we raise goes right back into this community to help people now – it’s why your donations are so important each and every year. In this year alone, United Way will invest about $2million in programs focused on mental health and substance abuse.
However, we know that is not enough to help everyone. We are asking you to join the fight against substance abuse and give a gift of new beginnings and recovery. Visit DonateUnited.org to make a year-end gift today.
Thank you. Through your support, these programs, and all of United Way’s work, are making our community better, along with the lives of those who live here.
 Source: US Department of Health and Human Services. https://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/substance-abuse
Accessed December 14, 2017.
 Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse. https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/trends-statistics
Accessed December 14, 2017.
 Source: 2015 Winston Salem/Forsyth County High School Youth Risk Behavior Survey Results. https://www.forsyth.cc/PublicHealth/assets/documents/2015_YRBS_Highlights.pdf. Accessed December 14, 2017.
 Source: NC Office of the Governor. https://governor.nc.gov/news/county-county-figures-opioid-crisis-north-carolina. Accessed December 14, 2017