How to Join
Community Efforts

Connect with others in your community and get involved in local efforts to address the opioid epidemic in North Carolina. Remember: together, we are more powerful than opioids, and we can all help end the epidemic.

Find groups who are working to address the opioid epidemic in your area with this map and county list.

Community Strategies to
Address the Epidemic

Community coalitions and local governments are using a wide range of innovative strategies to address the opioid epidemic. The best strategies are supported by data and an understanding of effective prevention strategies.

Community-based strategies to address the opioid epidemic include: 

For additional resources, see this Menu of Local Actions to Prevent Opioid Overdose in NC or visit the Rx Awareness campaign and Operation Prevention.


We all have a role to play in ending the opioid epidemic that’s devastating our state. Community toolkits give you resources to make your own – ways to educate the groups you work with and the people you speak to about the dangers of opioids and how to become part of the solution.

Each toolkit is designed with resources specific to the organization or audience. You can make them your own. Here’s a look at what your toolkit may include:


Share facts about the impact of the opioid crisis in North Carolina and the country, and what’s being done to address it.

Take back cards

Print and distribute 6” x 4” take back cards at events and within communities to remind people to safely dispose of unnecessary and leftover medications.


Print 8.5” x 11” or 11” x 17” posters to display in high-traffic areas in your communities.

Social media

Post about the dangers of opioids, the impact of the epidemic, and encourage community members to take action through Facebook and Twitter social posts. Don’t forget to use #MorePowerfulNC in your posts, and tag the North Carolina Department of Justice and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.


There’s no template for writing a letter or opinion piece for your local newspaper, but you can take a minute to share your thoughts about the impact of the epidemic on your community, and what we all can do to help end it.

Print ads

Buy print ad space from local community newspapers and magazines to raise awareness about the campaign and encourage action.

Digital ads

Buy and place digital media ads on local news websites or other websites that are relevant to your community.

Download a toolkit:

How Can Communities
Be Most Effective?

Community efforts are most effective in addressing substance misuse when these things happen:

  • When community efforts are supported by data.
  • When community efforts incorporate prevention basics.
  • When everyone with a stake in addressing drug misuse is at the table, working together. This includes government, business, healthcare, education, law enforcement, citizens, and other stakeholders.
  • When they undertake a careful, systematic process that includes assessing needs, building capacity, developing a plan, implementing the plan and evaluating whether the plan is working. This process is called the Strategic Prevention Framework. Learn more here.

Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) is a valuable resource for community coalitions. Learn more on their website here.

CADCA has produced a series of free downloadable “primers” explaining the Strategic Prevention Framework in user-friendly terms:

NC Association of County Commissioners
The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners started the County Leadership Forum on Opioid Abuse to engage local elected leaders in an informed discussion about the opioid epidemic, as well as develop collaborative strategies that enhance prevention, education and treatment. Learn more here.

To learn more about proven community-based strategies, visit Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development or the Search Institute.

To learn more about community coalitions, visit Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA), or the Surgeon General website.