MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (WNCT) – North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein was in Morehead City on Monday discussing efforts to reduce opioid addiction.
He met with local leaders to hear about their efforts and gave them an update on how the State of North Carolina is dealing with this issue.
“Too many people are addicted, too many people are dying and too many families are being torn apart so it really is imperative of elected officials to do everything we can to get ahead of this crisis,” Stein said.
District Attorney Scott Thomas and Carteret County Sheriff Asa Buck led the roundtable discussion at the Carteret County Health Department Conference Room.
“If we don’t start to reduce the numbers of all of the medication being prescribed then all of the things we are doing on the backend are just treating symptoms,” Sheriff Buck said. “We have to get to the root and the core of the matter.”
Carteret County is ranked 83rd in the state for opioid use and 87th for benzodiazepine, both gateway drugs to heroin.
The Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention or STOP Act is currently before the General Assembly.
The legislation focuses on improved rules to prescribe and dispense opioid drugs like OxyContin and funds for treating opioid abusers and helping them get clean.
The bill asks for $10 million in each of the next two years for substance abuse treatment and recovery services.
“If we take a comprehensive approach that involves prevention, treatment and enforcement, we can turn the tide and save lives,” Stein said.
The roundtable brought together elected officials, health department officials, hospital leadership, law enforcement, treatment and recovery professionals, district attorney, judges and community leaders.