Wilmington man gets jail time for selling heroin, cocaine

Dwayne Burch, 35, of Wilmington, pleaded guilty Monday in New Hanover County Superior Court to one count of trafficking heroin and one count of trafficking cocaine. Judge Phyllis M. Gorham sentenced Burch to a minimum of 70 months and a maximum term of 93 months in the North Carolina Department of Adult Correction. According to […]

Beyond a ‘war on drugs’ – law enforcement’s modern options in the opioid crisis

While in Washington there is talk of a 'new war of drugs,' at the local level law enforcement is looking past the 'scare tactics' of the past. While our local officials are still fighting trafficking and gang violence, they are increasingly pointing the way to a more progressive approach to the opioid crisis.

First Lady Nancy Reagan speaking at a "Just Say No" Rally in Los Angeles, 1987. (Courtesy the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration)

Author’s note: This series has explored questions about the opioid epidemic. It has focused on the basics: what are opioids, who are the people using them? Some questions remain: what is at the root of epidemic? Why is this epidemic hitting our area so hard – harder than nearly anywhere else in the nation? What can […]

‘Senators’ sons’ – Now that opioid victims look more like lawmakers, what will they do?

“You ask me the question now, as to whether or not we’re having the discussion of decriminalization and treatment versus incarceration is because the users look more like senators’ sons and prosecutors’ kids – the answer is 'yes.' Absolutely yes." District Attorney Ben David

holly grange bill saffo

Author’s note: This series has explored questions about the opioid epidemic in Wilmington. It has focused on the basics: what are opioids, who are the people using them? Some questions remain: what is at the root of epidemic? Why is this epidemic hitting our area so hard – harder than nearly anywhere else in the nation? […]

Taking babies from mommies – Opioids’ impact on families

The opioid epidemic in Wilmington destroys the lives of users and drives violent crime across town. But the youngest victims are the children caught in between parents struggling with opioids and the social service struggling to protect them. County officials are underfunded and backlogged, but a bigger – and more surprising – culprit is the recent proliferation of private treatment centers.

children

Author’s note: This series has explored questions about the opioid epidemic in Wilmington. It has focused on the basics: what are opioids, who are the people using them? Some questions remain: what is at the root of epidemic? Why is this epidemic hitting our area so hard – harder than nearly anywhere else in the nation? […]

Opioids: ‘Addressing demand is the only way to stop this’

"One of the most important things I’d like people to know is that treatment works. It might take one or two times, but it works. It might be the only thing that really does.” - North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein

A serious accident at Independence Boulevard and Oleader Drive  sent five people to the hospital this morning, including two children. Police are still on the scene.

Author’s note: This series has explored questions about the opioid epidemic in Wilmington. It has focused on the basics: what are opioids, who are the people using them? Some questions remain: what is at the root of epidemic? Why is this epidemic hitting our area so hard – harder than nearly anywhere else in the nation? […]

‘This numbs pain’ – The connection between mental health and opioids

"The desire to push things away, to not deal with it, to forget is powerful. Sadly, opioids are probably the best thing for forgetting.”

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Author’s note: Anecdotes and statistics agree, Wilmington is suffering an epidemic of opioid drug use. What remains unclear –– and what this series hopes to clarify –– are fundamental questions about the epidemic. The epidemic does not have one single narrative but, instead, intertwining threads. Street heroin has a different, but related, story to prescription drugs. Likewise, […]

‘Wilmington is a heroin town’ – the rise and return of heroin in the opioid crisis

"[T]he real story is that a lot of good doctors who were simply ignorant about addiction started cutting back. And a lot of people who were already hooked suddenly were left in the lurch.”

heroin bundles

Author’s note: Anecdotes and statistics agree, Wilmington is suffering an epidemic of opioid drug use. What remains unclear –– and what this series hopes to clarify –– are fundamental questions about the epidemic. The epidemic does not have one single narrative but, instead, intertwining threads. Street heroin has a different, but related, story to prescription drugs. Likewise, […]

Four more arrested in Brunswick County drug sweeps

BRUNSWICK COUNTY — Four more offenders have joined the dozens arrested last weekend by the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement Unit after multiple investigations into illegal drug activity throughout the county. Last week, the Sheriff John Ingram’s Office credited community complaints and tips for triggering various investigations across Brunswick that lead arrests Sunday and […]