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About the Opioid Epidemic

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Building a
More Powerful NC

Every North Carolinian can make a difference to confront the opioid crisis and take back our communities from the grips of this epidemic. Here’s a look at some of the actions North Carolinians have already taken. Want to share your own action? Send us a message.

College Students
Assemble Naloxone Kits

During National Public Health Week, Anna Austin and Amanda Sin, members of Attorney General Stein’s Council on Collegiate Opioid Misuse, partnered with the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition to host an event on UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus. At the event, undergraduate and graduate students from diverse backgrounds and disciplines helped assemble naloxone kits for distribution in communities across North Carolina. Students also learned about legislative initiatives to address the opioid epidemic in North Carolina. Volunteers assembled more 1,800 naloxone kits and discussed ways in which students can contribute to efforts to address the opioid epidemic. Others interested in hosting a naloxone assembly event or learning more about legislative and harm reduction initiatives to address the opioid epidemic can contact the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition.

Town of Waynesville
Passes a Resolution

The town of Waynesville became the first North Carolina municipality to pass a resolution in support of More Powerful NC. Led by Police Chief Bill Hollingshed and Mayor Gavin Brown, Waynesville has been a statewide leader in addressing the opioid epidemic.

“We have to understand, this isn’t just a law enforcement issue or a medical issue or a pharmaceutical issue,” Hollingsed said. “This is a community issue.” Read more here.

Dare County
Adopts a Resolution

Dare County became the first North Carolina county to pass a resolution supporting More Powerful NC. The resolution was adopted by a unanimous vote from the Dare County Board of Commissioners, which resolved to encourage disposal of leftover medications, community conversations about the risks of opioids, and county efforts to connect individuals with substance use disorders to drug treatment and other services.

Passes a Resolution

The City of Jacksonville passed a resolution supporting More Powerful NC and committing to join forces to address the opioid epidemic through conversations and partnership with community members, the Onslow County School System, the business community, and law enforcement.

Passes a Resolution

The town of Huntersville passed a resolution in support of More Powerful NC and and resolved to join forces with others to address the opioid epidemic.

Kill Devil Hills
Passes a Resolution

The Kill Devil Hills Board of Commissioners and Mayor Sheila F. Davies passed a resolution in support of More Powerful NC. The resolution encourages community members to connect with substance use treatment and recovery resources, dispose of leftover medications, and talk to their families. The Board of Commissioners will continue to involve law enforcement and other criminal justice stakeholders to connect individuals to drug treatment and other services, such as recovery courts.

King Passes a Resolution

The city of King passed a resolution to be a partner on the More Powerful NC campaign, encourage and support community members to confront the epidemic, partner with school systems to improve opioid prevention curricula, and work with the Stokes and Forsyth County governments and other statewide organizations to create a comprehensive strategic plan to address opioids.

Kernersville Passes a Resolution

The town of Kernersville in Forsyth and Guilford Counties unanimously adopted the More Powerful NC resolution on May 7, 2019. The town will encourage community members to seek help and support for substance misuse disorders and support Kernserville Cares for Kids and other programs that help foster healthy students and discourage drug misuse, among other community-focused actions.


June 17, 2019Shelby hosts opioid addiction forum

June 16, 2019PORT tackles overdose surge

June 14, 2019Opioid epidemic hurts US businesses and leads to job automation, UNC study says

June 13, 2019Buncombe officials take harm-reduction approach to drug use

June 13, 2019Gov. Cooper notes progress in fighting opioid epidemic

June 13, 2019Drug users, young people at growing risk for Hepatitis C. This program wants to help.

June 13, 2019North Carolina fights rising hepatitis C infections

June 11, 2019Updated North Carolina opioid action plan released at summit

June 7, 2019Vigil planned to raise awareness for overdose victims and missing people in Surry County

May 23, 2019Innovative partnership is breaking the cycle of opioid overdoses in Wake County

May 22, 2019Buncombe plans in-jail opioid treatment program

May 21, 2019Veterinarians in NC join fight against opioids

May 12, 2019 Approaches to addiction treatment evolve

May 12, 2019Carolyn Alford: The community should help fight against substance abuse

May 7, 2019NC Clergy Poll: More Than 70% Say Opioid Crisis Has Affected Congregation

May 6, 2019County endorses alternative-court approach

May 5, 2019Opioid deaths, addiction continue to mount

May 5, 2019 As opioid crisis wears on, Buncombe County prepares to launch syringe clinic

May 5, 2019My Turn: Drug addiction killed my son

May 3, 2019My Turn: Drug addiction killed my son

May 1, 2019Family treatment courts: Effective, humane, worth celebrating

April 28, 2019Understanding the opioid crisis and its effects

April 26, 2019New State Pilot Program To Fight Inmate Opioid Deaths

April 24, 2019Before and after: Survivor shares story of her opioid addiction

April 16, 2019A new study finds the opioid epidemic has led to tens of billions in lost tax revenue

April 11, 2019Cumberland County health board hopes to reduce opioid abuse

April 11, 2019Event at WCU raises substance abuse awareness

April 11, 2019Coalition: Community effort needed to fight Gaston opioid woes

April 9, 2019Hope4NC linking ENC residents to recovery resources

April 9, 2019NC Attorney General tours ENC crisis center

April 8, 2019‘I’m not here to judge you’: Patients struggling with opioid and alcohol addiction connect with peers at Triad hospitals

April 5, 2019Opioid task force awarded new grant

April 4, 2019Our view: Fighting opioids on a two-legged stool

April 4, 2019Statewide opioid education campaign launched

April 4, 2019North Carolina launches campaign to combat opioid crisis

April 4, 2019More Powerful NC: Statewide campaign to combat opioid epidemic

April 4, 2019 |  ‘More Powerful NC’ aimed at opioid awareness

April 3, 2019 |  NC officials kick off statewide campaign in Charlotte to combat state’s opioid crisis

March 27, 2019 |  Task Force Town Hall series will focus on opioid epidemic

March 26, 2019 |  Students hope opioid summit helps reduce stigma of addiction

March 25, 2019 |  Pastors say to address the opioid crisis, expand Medicaid

March 25, 2019 Police dispense of old pills, aim to cut accidental poisonings

March 25, 2019 ‘If Only’: Parents share stories of loss to educate on opioid abuse

March 24, 2019 Overdose response team provides help to addicts

March 19, 2019 How the opioid crisis makes everyone poorer

March 15, 2019 NC Cooperative Extension youth program held in Wilmington

March 5, 2019 For the Cherokee tribe in western North Carolina, America’s drug problem hits home

February 22, 2019 Across NC, police make fundamental shift to addressing opioid-related crime

February 8, 2019  |  AG Josh Stein: Leaving leftover pills in your medicine cabinet is like leaving a loaded gun

February 6, 2019  |  A New Prognosis for Pain Care

February 5, 2019  |  Officials: Wilmington Opioid Quick Response Team Makes Progress

January 23, 2019  |  Local doctors help spread medication-assisted opioid treatment in North Carolina

January 22, 2019  |  “We Can’t Arrest Our Way Out of This” – Why SAFE supports Pre-Arrest Diversion

January 17, 2019  |  Opioid-Related ED Visits Down In NC – But Only Barely

January 16, 2019  |  Opioid town hall in North Carolina: Stopping the growth of the addiction crisis

January 5, 2019  |  Ways to Protect Your Kids from Opioids

January 2, 2019  | ‘DARE’ program revamped to tackle opioid abuse


September 6, 2018  |  NC Payers Council Releases Approach to Further Combat the Opioid Crisis in North Carolina

July 30, 2018  |  Governor Cooper Takes Action to Help NC Seek $25 Million in Federal Grants to Combat the Opioid Crisis

June 14, 2018  |  Governor Cooper Announces $1.5 Million in Grant Awards to Combat Opioid Crisis in Communities

May 31, 2018  |  DHHS Dashboard Tracks Opioid Action Plan Progress; Data Show Reduction of Prescription Opioids, Increased Access to Care

May 15, 2018  |  Governor Cooper Reports More than 5,700 Treated in First Year of Federal Opioid Grant

April 5, 2018  |  DHHS Releases Funding Opportunity for Communities on Front Lines of Opioid Crisis

March 20, 2018  |  DHHS Sees Rise in Opioid Overdose Emergency Department Visits

March 5, 2018  |  Kroger and Harris Teeter Pharmacies Join DHHS in Fight Against Prescription Drug Misuse

February 1, 2017  |  DHHS Receives $31M Grant to Fight Opioid Epidemic

January 22, 2018  |  Governor Cooper Announces Next Wave of Funding and New Tools to Combat Opioid Crisis


November 3, 2017  |  Cooper Announces State Distribution of 40,000 Doses of Life-Saving Naloxone to Fight Opioid Epidemic

August 28, 2017  |  DHHS Joins Forces with Prescribers and Payers to Fight the NC Opioid Epidemic

June 30, 2017  |  Governor Cooper, Secretary Cohen announce Opioid Action Plan for NC: Newsletter Article

June 30, 2017  |  How Data are Used to Help Combat Opioid Epidemic

June 30, 2017  |  Increased Use of Naloxone Helps to Save Lives in NC

June 30, 2017  |  Opioid Summit ‘Productive,’ ‘Impressive,’ ‘Terrific’: Newsletter Article

June 30, 2017  |  Stories of Recovery: Speaker Among Those Giving Back

June 27, 2017  |  Governor Cooper Announces Bold Action Plan to Turn the Tide of the Opioid Epidemic in NC

May 18, 2017  |  Governor Cooper Announces $31 Million Grant to Fight Opioid Epidemic in NC

May 16, 2017  |  County-by-County Figures: The Opioid Crisis in NC

March 7, 2017  |  DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen Seeks Help from Clinicians to Solve Opioid Crisis in NC