About two dozen community leaders took part in the 5th Annual Substance Abuse Breakfast in Kinston on Friday morning.
The breakfast, hosted by the Peace Foundation, raises awareness of the problems substance abuse creates for communities.
At the meeting, much emphasis was placed on the effect it’s having on the economy since employers are having trouble finding people with clear drug background.
“A large amount of the individuals that are incarcerated or awaiting trial in our local jails or in our prison system are individuals that began at a very young age, a substance abuser,” explained Imelda Pate, Asst. District Attorney.
Shannon Ruiz started the organization after her daughter died of an overdose. Her other daughter, Lexi, kicked off a youth program to help.