opioids

Graphic, Katelyn Freund; Images Provided by Candidates


Change is coming to the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners. Incumbent Republicans Woody White and Patricia Kusek are not seeking re-election -- but there are nine other Republican primary candidates on the ballot, vying for three open seats. WHQR spoke to two of them.

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A new North Carolina law makes it a felony to sell opioids, cocaine and meth to someone who dies by ingesting them. It’s called Death by Distribution, and anyone indicted under the law could face charges equivalent to first-degree kidnapping, or in the case of repeat offenders, second-degree murder. It’s the latest approach communities in the state are taking to address the opioid crisis.

Hannah Breisinger


At a roundtable discussion last Thursday, State Attorney General Josh Stein and local leaders discussed the opioid crisis and how our region is dealing with it. The event, hosted by Stein and WECT, featured different viewpoints on the epidemic. But many of these local perspectives echoed a larger, national conversation.

Hannah Breisinger

 Correction: A mistake in this story states that the program was funded by the City of Wilmington. The city was awarded the money by the state, via an appropriation from the NC General Assembly.  It then co-tracked the work to Coastal Horizons.  

An innovative substance-recovery program in Wilmington, designed to tackle the national opioid epidemic, is seeing promising results. Just over a year into its pilot run, program leaders hope it will serve as a model across North Carolina. 

Vince Winkel

The Cape Fear Opioid Overdose Quick Response Team is a pilot program funded for two years by the North Carolina General Assembly. Local officials say that six months in – it appears to be working.  WHQR has more on the team’s progress report – which came out today.

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While the opioid crisis continues to plague the Cape Fear region and the state, there are signs that recent initiatives are helping.  

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Quit cold turkey – that’s the theory behind some drug rehabilitation programs, but this can be problematic.

Trillium Health Resources is collaborating with The Healing Place on New Hanover County’s first long-term substance abuse facility. According to Trillium, the plan “does incorporate non-medical detoxification as part of their long-term treatment.”

The Changing Face of the Opioid Crisis

May 15, 2018
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The Cape Fear Region has seen an increase in opioid use disorder, otherwise known as OUD. New Hanover County has plans to open a long-term treatment facility – for men.

People suffering from opioid use disorder contribute to jail overflows. That’s why New Hanover County Commissioners committed to funding a Trillium Health Resources facility in 2016

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It was 2013 that Dr. William Johnstone came to work as a Professor in the Obstetrics and Gynecology residency program at New Hanover Regional Medical Center. It didn’t take long for him to see the devastating consequences from the opioid epidemic firsthand – although back then, the community was not yet talking about it. 

One hospital administrator tells WHQR the numbers of babies born with neonatal abstinence syndrome went from about 35 in 2010 to between 120 to 140 by 2016.  Officials expect those numbers to continue rising.