BAYBORO, N.C. (WNCT) – More than 100 people turned out for a meeting in Bayboro Wednesday to take back their community and help put an end to a drug problem that some are describing as an epidemic now.
Pamlico County Sheriff Chris Davis said he is worried that kids are using harder drugs earlier. He said sometimes they can begin in middle school.
“It began as using drugs like Marijuana, now they’re turning to pills, heroin and methamphetamine,” he said.
Davis said the only way they can tackle the growing problem is together.
Matt Knight, a special agent with the ALE, said events like this are critical. He speaks with students across the East and doesn’t tell them not to do drugs or alcohol, but rather what will happen to them if they do.
“It’s about empowering our community to address an issue,” Knight said. “We are coming together for something.”
During the meeting, Sheriff Davis and other law enforcement officers invited some parents on stage to have them examine a mock bedroom and look for signs of drug use. During the demonstration, he shared some lesser known tips of what parents should look for.
Those tips included: looking for apples with holes cut through them, which can signify someone smoking through it, and checking socks, under the soles of shoes and brims of hats, which sometimes can be a hiding place for drugs.
Some people who have been directly impacted by drugs also spoke during the meeting. Stephanie Gladwell said two of her nephews lost their lives because of drugs. Now, she doesn’t even know where her own son is because of his drug addiction.
“Love wasn’t enough,” Gladwell said. “No matter what we did, it wasn’t enough.”
Multiple groups from across the East were also on hand to give out information and share ways people can get help with addictions if they need them.
Another meeting addressing a rise in drugs is scheduled for Thursday in Sneads Ferry.