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, […]

‘Hands on the elephant’: Who are the people using opioids around Wilmington?

"There are types, but there isn’t a type. There's no simple answer."

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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 […]

Opioids, ‘one of the most frightening issues of our time’

“It’s one of the most frightening issues of our time. It’s also one of the most important." --- Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo

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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. […]

Leland man sentenced 30 years for trafficking heroin, cash between New Jersey and Wilmington

Bundles of Heroin

WILMINGTON — A Leland man was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison for trafficking heroin in a large-scale organization that moved large amounts of the drug and cash between New Jersey and Wilmington. Robert Boone, 43, was convicted of conspiracy to distribute one kilogram or more of heroin and conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, according […]

Wilmington man faces murder charge in May overdose death

Aquan De'Shae Richardson

WILMINGTON – Detectives recently charged a Wilmington man with the drug overdose death of 28-year-old Joshua Adams McBride in May. According to Samantha Dooies, assistant to District Attorney Ben David, an overdose-related murder charge has not been prosecuted in New Hanover County in the last 17 years. Aquan De’Shae Richardson, 25, was charged with second-degree […]

Man who learned how to make crack cocaine over the Internet sentenced to more than 5 years in prison

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WILMINGTON — Prosecutors say a Wilmington man who pleaded guilty to drug charges in New Hanover County Superior Court this week learned how to make crack cocaine over the Internet. Sherman Leon Pearson, 43, pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges of possession with intent to sell cocaine, possession with intent to sell heroin, possession of a […]