Onslow Co. sheriff partners with residents in Heroin Opioid Prevention Education coalition

JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Jacksonville is ranked the 12th worst city in the nation for opioid abuse.

The Onslow County Sheriff’s Office has partnered with residents and other law enforcement agencies in a coalition called Heroin Opioid Prevention Education.

“It’s been very beneficial to work with the citizens, with the law enforcement, and increase public awareness that there is a drug problem,” said Sheriff Hans Miller, Onslow County.

Substance abuse prevention expert Kelli Knapp said light punishments for dealers adds to the issue in our area.

“We need to have tougher penalties for people that are selling drugs,” explained Kelli Knapp, Coastal Coalition for Substance Abuse Prevention board chair. “I think that a slap on the wrist that some of them get sometimes doesn’t deter anyone. It may entice more dealers to come in and put more people at risk.”

Knapp said addiction often starts with the abuse of prescription drugs.

In the past week alone, the sheriff’s office made multiple heroin-related arrests.

Sheriff Miller said he’s working toward a goal of getting drug dealers off of the streets permanently, “I would like to see a three strikes and you’re out. So if somebody continues to peddle drugs for a long time, they should go away for a long time.”

However, he said, in order to be successful, it has to be a community effort, “If we can continue to increase the awareness, maybe we can reduce and help the problem go away.”

WNCT-TV 9 On Your Side provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s