Drug overdose on the rise in Pitt County

GREENVILLE, NC (WNCT) – According to the DEA, drug overdose deaths have become the leading cause of injury death in the United States, above motor vehicle and firearm deaths.

In Pitt County, overdoses are on the rise, which is why local law enforcement are implementing stronger tactics in hopes of eliminating drug use on campus.

“We’ve been more aggressive in our approach to dealing with drugs and involvement with either drug arrests or issues where drugs are present,” said Lt. Chris Sutton of ECU Police. “The programs that our officers do inside of our residence halls to help educate the students, the residents, on best judgment choices.”

ECU student James Teague thinks it’s a difficult task.

“I think they’re doing a good job, but like I said there’s a lot of students, and you never know who is pushing, and it’s hard to find out even though it’s so prevalent.”

The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office says they’re seeing an increase in drug use across the county. Sheriff Neil Elks says heroin and prescription drug overdoses are becoming too common.

“We’ve been noticing a trend in the increase, and we’ve constantly tried to get in front of it. Because anytime a loved one loses somebody to an overdose, it’s very sad, and everyone want to go back and say what could we have done different; what could I have done different?”

He encourages people to come forward if they know someone addicted to drugs, before it’s too late.

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