Opioid Epidemic

  After spike in overdoses, officials trying to raise awareness of addiction treatment options

  ‘There is hope’: recognizing International Drug Overdose Awareness Day

  Despite ‘commitment,’ Trillium opts to go with Kentucky firm rather than Coastal Horizons for operation of controversial treatment center

TONIGHT: Counseling through Crisis: Drug, alcohol and mental health experts offer help during pandemic

  Compounding crises: A look at addiction recovery during a pandemic

  Coastal Horizons sees continued success, need for Overdose Quick Response Team

Continued Coverage

  HAPPENING TODAY: Medication take back event features 19 locations in 6 counties

  NC Attorney General, WECT host opioid town hall meeting

  HAPPENING TODAY: Drop off your unused medications ahead of Drug Take Back Day

  Addicted: Part Three - Road to Recovery

  How the $48B opioid settlement could help or hurt local municipalities

New Hanover County Commissioner travels to Ohio to represent county’s opioid lawsuit

‘We’re not alone’ - ‘Sesame Street’ tackles addiction crisis

Sesame Workshop is exploring the backstory of Karli, a bright green, yellow-haired friend of Elmo’s whose mother is battling addiction. The initiative is part of the Sesame Street in Communities resources available online.

  Addicted: Part Two - Coping with an Enduring Epidemic

By some measures, trends related to the opioid crisis seem to be improving, but experts warn there is a long way to go.

  Addicted: Origins of an Epidemic

The first installment of a series where WECT Investigates where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going in the battle against opioid addiction.

  North Carolina officials cite drop in opioid overdose deaths

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says unintentional opioid-related overdose deaths fell by 5% in 2018, compared to a 34% increase in deaths in 2017.

Opioid lawsuit win sets precedent for NHC litigation

  Father of son who died from an overdose reacts to passing of Death by Distribution bill

  Cooper signs bills addressing drug dealers, missing persons

  Opioid quick response team receives another year of funding

  Coastal Horizons gets $200K federal grant to aid opioid addiction treatment

  Board approves 100-bed substance abuse treatment facility for women

  New Hanover County Board of Commissioners vice chair proposes 100-bed substance abuse recovery facility for women

Julia Olson-Boseman said a treatment facility is just as necessary for women as it is for men.

FDA issues warning to Wilmington company selling kratom

A Wilmington store is among two businesses that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued warning letters to for illegally selling unapproved, misbranded kratom-containing drug products claiming they can treat or cure opioid addiction and withdrawal symptoms.

Board approves New Hanover Co. fiscal year budget; $116M slated for public schools

According to a news release from the county, this marks three consecutive years the tax rate has either stayed the same or been reduced.

  Operation Medicine Drop: Properly disposing your medicine and keeping your kids safe

An event called Operation Medicine Drop gives the community an opportunity to get rid of expired and unused medicines to keep children safe and help the opioid crisis.

  Proposed bill would toughen penalties for criminals who target pharmacies with intent to steal opioids

A former sheriff, a pharmacist and a doctor are all coming together to fight the opioid epidemic from the state house.

NJ woman sentenced in NC for using children to traffic heroin

A multi-agency, long term investigation revealed Cherelle Hills was part of a network that was trafficking heroin from Camden, NJ to Brunswick County and other areas in between.

  Officials receive update on opioid quick response team

Coastal Horizons and the City of Wilmington teamed up last August to fight the ongoing crisis by launching a new pilot program called Cape Fear Opiate Overdose Quick Response Team (CFOOQRT).

Wilmington City Council carries over consideration of controversial 200-bed group home

Wilmington City Council voted to once again carry over discussion of the Healing Place — the fourth continuance of the issue since it passed the Wilmington Planning Commission in August.

  Opioid prescriptions, overdoses down after a year

Opioid overdoses and opioid prescriptions dropped sharply in 2018 due to new prescribing guidelines, according to data provided by New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

Local expert discusses FDA’s approval of powerful new opioid

WECT’s Frances Weller interviewed Kenny House from Coastal Horizons on Wednesday afternoon’s News Now about the drug, which can only be given in hospitals and is meant for those who can’t take medication intravenously.

Feds expected to indict doctor accused of running ‘pill mill’

Federal authorities anticipate filing criminal charges against a doctor accused of operating a “pill mill” out of his Tabor City office.

  Rouzer responds to criticism of recent opioid symposium

The symposium happened July 30 at the Coastline Convention Center and featured people recovering from opioid addiction, followed by a panel of experts who deal with patients suffering from addiction.

  Fatal drug overdoses rising in NC faster than 48 other states, fentanyl partly to blame

People are dying from drug overdoses in North Carolina at a faster rate than 48 other states, according to provisional data released on Wednesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Consider This: 'Licensed to Pill' exposes aggressive opioid prescribers

This is a truly ground breaking investigative series that exposes some of the most aggressive prescribers of opioids in the country and uncovers their questionable methods of doling out pain pills.

  Inspired by memory of her husband who overdosed, woman overcomes heroin addiction

There is no shortage of overdose stories in our area. Yvette Barbour could have been one of those stories. Her husband, Michael Barbour, is. He lost his battle with heroin addiction three months ago.

  Hitting the front lines: Cape Fear Opioid Overdose Response team launches Friday

The new opiate overdose response team is the next line of defense in the opioid epidemic that has plagued the Cape Fear Region.

  Congressman David Rouzer hosts opioid symposium

Congressman David Rouzer hosted an opioid symposium Monday evening at the Coastline Convention Center in Wilmington.

Pest control worker allegedly steals 700 oxycodone tablets from pharmacy

A pest control worker allegedly stole 700 oxycodone tablets from a Columbus County pharmacy while working at the drug store.

  Consider this: Bringing awareness to the opioid epidemic

Consider This: Programs like the one being conducted right now by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services help. But it will take effort from each of us individually to help save our future as we continue to combat this epidemic.

Wilmington Planning Commission approves special use permit for group home

The Wilmington Planning Commission unanimously approved a special use permit Wednesday night for a group home on 8.7 acres of property on Medical Center Drive.

  Prosecutors: NC doctor, woman made $3M illegally distributing 1.7M pills

Prosecutors in Columbus County say a Tabor City doctor and his girlfriend were illegally distributing thousands of pills a day and made upwards of $3 million running an extensive "pill mill" operation out of their offices.

  NC doctor, woman arrested following 'pill mill' raid

A doctor has been arrested on suspicion of illegally distributing highly addictive painkillers in what law enforcement officials call a "pill mill" scheme.

  A Wilmington doctor treated a mother's back pain for years. She ended up in detox.

For nearly eight years, a Wilmington doctor treated a woman who sought his help for her lower back pain. But after years of being prescribed high doses of highly-addictive narcotics, the mother of four was involuntarily admitted for addiction detoxification.

  Consider This: HOPE Act is step in right direction to fight opioid epidemic

The HOPE act would help to give law enforcement additional tools and resources to help combat this epidemic.

  Report: 58 percent of children in foster care in Brunswick Co. in state custody due to parental substance misuse

In 2017, more than 16,500 children in the state lived in Department of Social Services custody.

  Father who lost son to heroin overdose encouraged by HOPE Act

Wilmington resident Bob McBride picked up his son, Josh, a treatment center on May 12, 2016. The two spent the day together, went to the mall and enjoyed a few laughs, all before the unthinkable happened.

HOPE Act aims to confront NC opioid epidemic

State lawmakers unveiled a new bill Wednesday aimed at curbing the opioid epidemic in North Carolina. State Attorney General Josh Stein met with law enforcement representatives in Wilmington Thursday morning to go over details of the bill.

New opioid guidelines have blocked 300,000 pain pills in Wilmington

New Hanover Regional Medical Center said Thursday in a press release that its opioid prescription guidelines have stopped about 300,000 pain pills from being given to patients over the last four months.

  Emergency room visits for opioid overdoses up 31% in NC, says new CDC report

Emergency department visits for opioid overdoses increased 31% in North Carolina from July 2016 through September 2017, according to a new study released today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Actor turned addict shares his story of opioid addiction

Over the course of the next two days, a former actor turned opioid addict will be in Wilmington sharing his story of how drugs and alcohol sent his life into a tailspin.

Veterinarians talk new opioid prescription regulation for pets

Under North Carolina's STOP Act, doctors across the state are changing the way they prescribe opioids. According to Associate Doctor Kara Duffy with Atlantic Animal Hospital, veterinarians are now following suit.

NC officials to distribute 40,000 naloxone doses to fight opioid crisis

Governor Roy Cooper announced Friday that nearly 40,000 units of naloxone, a medication used to reverse the effects of opioid overdoses, will be distributed around North Carolina to help in the fight against opioid-related deaths in the state.

City, county leaders consider suing opioid distributors

In a joint news conference, New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chairman Woody White said commissioners will consider a resolution at their meeting on Monday that allows the county to hire legal counsel.

Gov. Cooper: 'Wilmington area is ground zero' for opioid crisis

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper attended drug overdose prevention training for law enforcement and held a roundtable discussion on the opioid crisis Thursday morning.

New Hanover County releases fourth opioid PSA

In the fourth of six public service announcements, New Hanover County's Communications and Outreach Department has a message of hope for people affected by the country's opioid epidemic.

Opioid treatment centers hope declaration will bring relief

Opioid treatment centers in Wilmington hope the opioid epidemic will ease in the city after President Donald Trump declared the crisis a "national emergency."

VIDEO: New Hanover Co. releases next video on the opioid crisis

New Hanover County's Communications and Outreach Department has released the second of six videos aimed to raise awareness of the local opioid crisis and its impact on the community.