© 2023 254 North Front Street, Suite 300, Wilmington, NC 28401 | 910.343.1640
News Classical 91.3 Wilmington 92.7 Wilmington 96.7 Southport
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

CoastLine: Reducing Harm for Opioid Abusers, Sex Workers, and Officers in the Cape Fear Region

By Psychonaught (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
Injecting heroin tar filtered using cotton from a tampon using a reused, not shared, syringe

Wilmington, North Carolina is at the top of an unfortunate list.  One study published last year, based on analysis of numbers from the Centers for Disease Control, shows more than 11.5% of the population abuses opioids.  Opioid abusers tend to live in the rural south – according to the Castlight report

Earlier this week, Wilmington’s Police Chief, Ralph Evangelous, announced the lowest crime statistics in nearly a quarter of a century, as reported by the StarNews.  The areas to work on, he says:  gangs and the opioid epidemic. 

It’s been called an epidemic, a public health crisis, and one statistic puts the cost – just from absenteeism and illness in the workplace from these drugs at about $10 billion. 

It’s numbers that like that encouraged Robert Childs, now the Executive Director of the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition to open an office in Wilmington. 


Robert Childs, Executive Director, NC Harm Reduction Coalition

Mike Page, Outreach Worker, NC Harm Reduction Coalition

To reach Mike Page directly, call 910.795.7984. 

Every Friday between 1 and 5 PM, NC Harm Reduction Coalition sets up a fixed site for support services and supplies at the intersection of Market and Barclay in Wilmington. 

Find syringe exchange sites in Wilmington, Leland, and Brunswick County here:


Further resources: 


Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.