Opioids in the Cape Fear: ‘One of the most frightening issues of our time’

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Editor’s note: Welcome to our ongoing series about opioids. We originally planned this as a smaller series, but as the reporting unfolded, so did more questions. We began publishing on Feb. 28 with an outline for eight stories. We quickly realized that the complexity of this epidemic could spawn dozens more. And, though we published the eleventh and final story of this series on April 3, we realize that, as the epidemic continues, so will our coverage. Thus, we hope this original series will serve as an introduction, a foundation and a resource for those working to understand the opioid crisis and a point of reference for future stories.

What you see here is a list of all of our stories in the original series, organized for convenience, with other, related stories, too.

Part I – The epidemic, by the numbers

Part II – Opioids: from heroin to prescription pills to and ‘psycho synthetics’

Part III – The many changing faces of opioid addiction

Part IV – Mental health and opioid abuse

Part V – The power and potential risk of harm reduction

Part VI – Opioid demand, the fear of detox and the path to treatment

Part VII – The opioid supply: from cartels and gangs to family and friends

Part VIII – Taking babies from mommies – Opioids’ impact on families

Part IX – ‘Do the right thing,’ local and state government response

Part X – Law enforcement: another ‘war on drugs’ or something new?

Part XI – The cost of the opioid epidemic

Opioids: An appendix for readers

 

Related stories from our files

Living the opioid epidemic through the eyes of a Wilmington vice detective (April 2, 2017)

Wilmington man accused of killing toddler while driving under the influence of opioids had prior incidents; bond set at $59 million (Nov. 2, 2016)

Man arrested in New Hanover County carrying 890 bags of heroin (Aug. 22, 2016)

FBI task force charges 18 in sting targeting drug dealers (Aug. 5, 2016)

New FBI Task Force breaks boundaries for local heroin investigations (July 15, 2016)

Wilmington Police ready to use overdose-reversing drug (Jan. 15, 2016)

Prosecutor: Guilty plea shows nature of drug addiction, sex trade (May 15, 2016)

Heroin, prescription drug arrests, overdoses on the rise (March 22, 2013)