‘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

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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.

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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? […]

‘Killing with kindness’ – where are prescription opioids coming from?

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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? […]

‘Reversal fatigue’ – Narcan and needle exchanges have saved thousands of lives, but not everyone is on board

"We don’t preach and we don’t judge. We build their trust and they’ll reach out to their mates. That’s how we build a peer-to-peer network. That’s how we can help. That’s just the old-school way we’ve always done it.”

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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: An appendix for readers

Note for readers: The conversations around the opioid epidemic are often peppered with technical terms and names. We’ve compiled this appendix of terms and will continue to build it as the series continues.   Buprenorphine – Sold as Subutex in the US, buprenorphine might best be described as a “semi-opioid.” The drug is derived from thebaine, […]

‘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, […]