First Substance Abuse Prevention Summit works to combat addictions

Opioid Epidemic

GREENVILLE, Pitt County - The opioid crisis is a widespread epidemic that's affecting all walks of life in North Carolina, but officials at the First Annual Substance Abuse Prevention Summit are trying to change that.

In the last 17 years, more than 12,000 North Carolinians died from opioid-related overdoses. Monday, community members united with health professionals to push for more action on this issue.

During the summit, attendees chose two different breakout sessions to participate in, including the Health Professional Role, Narcan Use, The Health Department and Youth Programs.

"We've got a whole culture of younger people who are stuck in this quagmire of using, it's okay, there's no consequences, or take the consequences, come back out and use some more," Linda Klund, Craven County Task Force Substance Abuse member, said. "They're in a culture of they don't want to learn, they don't want to quit."

Klund works with older individuals and says opioid addiction and abuse doesn't discriminate. She hopes that more awareness and discussion will lead to a decrease in the number of deaths related to this epidemic.

One of the sponsors of the summit includes the Coastal Coalition for Substance Abuse Prevention. It covers Carteret, Craven, Jones, Onslow and Pamlico counties.

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