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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.

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.

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.

Passes a Resolution

The town of Cary in Wake County adopted the More Powerful NC resolution on June 27, 2019. In addition to encouraging other NC municipalities to participate in the More Powerful NC campaign, the town will work with students to offer educational programs that discourage the misuse of opioids and other substances. The town will also continue to provide naloxone kits to all police and fire personal, and share information gathered through sampling the sewer system for opioid consumption with public health stakeholders and other partners.  

Kings Mountain
Passes a Resolution

The city of Kings Mountain adopted the More Powerful NC resolution on July 30, 2019, encouraging community citizens to dispose of leftover medications by participating in the Kings Mountain PD’s Medicine Drop program and encouraging conversation about the risks of drug misuse.


February 2, 2020 |  Bringing hope to the community

January 31, 2020 |  New inmate program focuses on treatment behind bars

January 30, 2020 |  US life expectancy sees small increase, driven by drop in cancer, drug deaths

January 30, 2020 |  Drug overdose deaths fall for first time in almost 30 years

January 30, 2020 |  Health agency works to combat opioid crisis through Narcan distribution program

January 30, 2020 |  U.S. life expectancy ticks up as drug fatalities and cancer deaths drop

January 30, 2020 |  Transportation issues hinder opioid treatment in rural areas, experts tell House committee

January 29, 2020 |  Prosecutors in the Carolinas urge Congress to renew ban on fentanyl-like drugs

January 27, 2020 |  Our view: Surry opioid fight requires all

January 25, 2020 |  Henderson County inmates to receive mental health, recovery services from Free Clinics, Vaya Health

January 24, 2020 |  Outpatient substance abuse treatment clinic opens

January 24, 2020 |  Opioid forum looks to start conversation

January 13, 2020 |  North Carolina health departments address opioid crisis with new plan

January 12, 2020 |  Brunswick center shares faith-based addiction recovery in the middle of ‘nowhere’

January 11, 2020 |  Grant to help fight substance abuse

January 10, 2020 |  Henderson County receives grant to address opioid crisis

January 10, 2020 |  Forsyth Health Department gains $275,000 in federal funding for opioid crisis initiatives

January 10, 2020 |  Guilford, Forsyth among county health agencies receiving money to combat opioid crisis

January 10, 2020 |  DHHS announces $2.1 million to 23 health departments to address the opioid crisis

January 10, 2020 |  Eleanor Health Unveils Durham NC Office to Treat Opioid and Substance Use Disorders

January 10, 2020 |  Asheboro’s Community Hope Alliance fights to stay open to continue saving lives with safe syringe exchange, free Nalaxone kits

January 10, 2020 |  A fighting chance: program offers hope for addicts getting out of jail

January 9, 2020 |  Black Mountain’s Kennedy creates exhibit on substance abuse and recovery in Appalachia

January 8, 2020 |  NC dentists join AG Josh Stein in effort to fight opioid epidemic

January 7, 2020 |  NC county approves community paramedicine program after jump in 911 calls

January 6, 2020 |  NC expands treatment for opioid-use disorder in jails

January 6, 2020 |  New medication helping incarcerated recovering addicts

January 6, 2020 |  Leaders work to tackle the opioid crisis

January 6, 2020 |  State budget stalemate stalls opioid pilot program funding

January 6, 2020 |  WNC gets $3.5 million to fight opioid abuse

December 28, 2019 |  Grant to help combat opioid abuse

December 10, 2019 |  N.C. county takes preventive approach to opioid crisis

December 8, 2019 |  In the face of an opioid epidemic, make a safer home for your family during the holidays

November 22, 2019 |  Faith leaders talk opioid crisis in Alamance County

November 22, 2019 |  Foster parents needed as our region still grapples with opioid crisis

November 20, 2019 |  New treatment program helps those struggling with drug abuse

November 19, 2019 |  Buncombe County to implement opioid treatment plan in jail

November 19, 2019 |  Drug addiction weighing on foster care

November 19, 2019 |  Toward Continuous Evidence-Based Treatment For Opioid Use Disorder: Lessons From North Carolina

November 18, 2019 |  Grant approved will help Raleigh agency combat opioid epidemic

November 14, 2019 |  Meet the community paramedics working to alleviate North Carolina’s opioid crisis

November 13, 2019 |  NC drug takeback nets 38,000 pounds of unused prescriptions

November 12, 2019 |  Big results for North Carolina’s most recent ‘Drug Take Back Day’

November 11, 2019 |  Cumberland-Fayetteville Opioid Response Team needs your feedback

November 8, 2019 |  Coastal Horizons sees continued success, need for Overdose Quick Response Team

November 8, 2019 |  From mother’s grief springs project of hope

October 31, 2019 |  Our view: Addiction can affect everyone

October 31, 2019 |  4-H program to strengthen families against opioids

October 31, 2019 |  New website offers comprehensive, local resources for drug use awareness, prevention, recovery

October 31, 2019 |  Dangerous opioids among medications collected, destroyed as part of Operation Medicine Drop

October 28, 2019 |  NHRMC collects 6,000 pounds of medications during disposal event

October 28, 2019 |  Making progress in the fight against opioid addiction

October 28, 2019 |  Buncombe County takes deeper dive into opioid epidemic plaguing Western North Carolina

October 27, 2019 |  Grant funds team-oriented training to address opioid use

October 25, 2019 |  Atrium Health improves care for opioid use disorder

October 22, 2019 |  Opioid treatment center opens in Eden

September 29, 2019 |  Elon University to host community series on area substance abuse

September 29, 2019 |  New response team is a lifeline for overdose survivors

September 27, 2019 |  Arrest diversion program taking shape

August 26, 2019 |  Free overdose awareness event happening in Pitt County Thursday

August 26, 2019 |  Statewide audience hears about successes of collaborative Guilford program tackling opioid epidemic

August 26, 2019 |  Parents, coaches, student athletes play crucial role in curbing opioid abuse

August 25, 2019 |  Shelton touts overdose drug plan

August 24, 2019 |  A flood of pills: Millions of opioid pain pills flowed through the area, sparking an epidemic, according to government data

August 21, 2019 |  Vaya Health donates Narcan kits to Mitchell County DSS

August 15, 2019 |  Opinion: The compelling case for drug-treatment courts

August 14, 2019 |  NC doctor found guilty of illegally prescribing opioids

August 14, 2019 |  What 76 Billion Prescription Opioid Pills Illuminates About The Epidemic

August 12, 2019 |  It can happen fast, start simply: Raleigh father aims to prevent drug overdoses

August 12, 2019 |  Piedmont agencies using overdose mapping to identify trends

August 12, 2019 |  Opioid crisis: NC receives millions in funding to fight epidemic

August 12, 2019 |  Former softball player uses own experience to help those with opioid addiction

August 9, 2019 |  Dogwood Health Trust shares six-month update

August 6, 2019 |  Study: U.S. Naloxone Access Soars, but More Needed

August 6, 2019 |  Buncombe County authorities want to take opioid fight to jail

August 6, 2019 |  Deputies save two lives after overdoses in Camden County

August 5, 2019 Forsyth County Opioid Task Force expanding resources

August 5, 2019 Carolina collaborates with NC Department of Public Safety, Durham County Sheriff’s Office on opioid addiction treatment

August 5, 2019 Overdose deaths now higher in cities than rural areas

August 5, 2019 Buncombe County government, A-B Tech produce opioid PSA

August 2, 2019 N.C. Attorney General continues the fight against opioids

August 1, 2019 Health director seeks to keep momentum in battle over opioid overdoses

August 1, 2019 Mom on the front lines of Surry County’s drug crisis motivated by her family’s fight against opioids

July 31, 2019    |  Partnership uses new tools to fight opioid crisis in NC

July 31, 2019    |  More Powerful NC and the North Carolina Board Of Pharmacy Announce partnership to confront prescription opioid misuse

July 30, 2019    |  New law helps combat opioid crisis

July 29, 2019    |  Onslow drug, mental illness treatment center officially opens

July 27, 2019    |  Data tracks opioid epidemic

July 27, 2019    |  DEA data highlights Dare’s pain pill problem

July 26, 2019    |  Local coalition fighting opioid epidemic in Davidson County

July 10, 2019    |  The Opioid Crisis: A WFMY News Town Hall To Find Solutions

July 9, 2019    |  Opioid Task Force Sets Public Meetings July 25, Aug. 15

July 8, 2019    |  Paws, Not Pills: NC Veterinarians Fight Exploitation of Pets For Opioids

July 8, 2019    |  NC Startup DisposeRX Teams Up With Gov’t To Fight Opioid Epidemic

July 7, 2019    |  NC Gets $1.2 Million To Battle Drug Epidemic

July 5, 2019    |  Robeson Health Care Gets $200K for Opioid Fight

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