Pamlico County organization tackling growing opioid epidemic

Opioid Epidemic

BAYBORO, Pamlico County - The growing opioid epidemic continues to make its way into the homes of many people throughout the country.

Officials from the Hope Clinic in Pamlico County want to help people fight the addiction by elminating a stumbling block for many ... money. "This will be a free program if they have insurance for the medication," said Sheri Rettew, executive director for the Hope Clinic. "We can bill it but, otherwise, everything else is free of charge. "If they don't have insurance, they will work through medication assistance programs to get as much covered and the rest we are going to raise." The program is called New Beginnings, medication, methods and treatment. It will provide individual and family support to those suffering from addiction along with a program that consists of providing subaxone to active addicts, which is used to lessen their urges. "It's basically blocking that high," Rettew said. "It's a similar high to heroin but just stepping them down." Rettew said after a period of time when the addict has reached a point where they no longer have urges, they will take the next step. That next step is Vivatrol shots every month. Clinic officials said they will be seeking out grants to start off the program but after that, they will be relying on the communities' financial support. One person already onboard to help is Roxanne Watts. She said her willingness to help comes from a personal experience, the loss of her son, who she said was only 18. She said he was struggling with a mix of bipolar disorder and drugs. "I found my son hanging in a tree, he had hung himself," Watts said. "If I can get through to one person, one teenager that would be what I would do so that parent wouldn't have to go through what I went through." An info session will be held Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Bayboro Baptist Church in their fellowship building next to the town's post office. Hope Clinic officials hope to expand their services into Beaufort and Craven counties soon.

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