Archive for North Carolina

AG Stein Launches Social Media Conversation to Discuss Opioid Crisis

For Immediate Release:
Monday, Feb. 27, 2017

Laura Brewer
(919) 716-6484


AG Stein Launches Social Media Conversation to Discuss Opioid Crisis

#opioidsurvivor allows people to share stories, learn about resources, raise awareness

RALEIGH, N.C. – Attorney General Josh Stein today announced that his office will host a social media conversation each Tuesday to discuss the opioid epidemic. Facebook and Twitter users can use #opioidsurvivor to share stories about their personal connection to the opioid epidemic, to discuss resources for treatment and success in recovery and to raise awareness of the dangers associated with opioid misuse and addiction. The first conversation will take place tomorrow, Feb. 28, which is North Carolina Addiction Recovery Day.

“Opioid addiction is tearing families apart all across our state,” said AG Josh Stein. “Four people die in North Carolina each day from an overdose, while four times that amount are hospitalized and another eight times that amount are taken to emergency rooms. Research has shown that many people view prescription drugs as safer and less addictive, which is an extremely dangerous misconception. My hope is that facilitating this conversation will help raise awareness for the danger of using these drugs and provide hope and support for people trying to recover from addiction.”

To participate in this conversation, users should post their stories and thoughts about this issue on Twitter or Facebook and include #opioidsurvivor in their message.

Background on AG Stein and this issue:

  • Confronting the opioid epidemic is one of AG Stein’s top priorities. He is working with the North Carolina General Assembly on legislation to address the issue.
  • AG Stein recently delivered a speech on the topic available here.
  • AG Stein also is traveling to communities across the state that have been impacted by this issue. Coverage of a recent event in Fayetteville is available here and here.
  • Please visit for more information on this issue and AG Stein’s approach.


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Carolinas Poison Center Warns of Potentially Contaminated Heroin in North Carolina

In less than a week’s time, at least nine people in North Carolina have become very ill due to what is believed to be adulterated heroin. Because illegal drugs can be cut or diluted with
other substances, they can cause unwanted effects.

To date, reported cases are from individuals in Durham, Orange, and Lee counties. “The symptoms suggest that there’s something other than heroin in these batches,” said Anna
Dulaney, Clinical Toxicologist at the Carolinas Poison Center.

While adulteration of the drug can’t yet be confirmed, cases are similar to a mini-epidemic of clenbuterol-containing heroin which struck North Carolina in 2005. Contamination or
adulteration is suspected when drug users experience symptoms that are not typical for the drug. In the current outbreak, heroin users experiencing atypical symptoms have reported a rapid
onset of heart palpitations comparing it to the feeling of a heart “beating out of its chest,” dizziness, and anxiety. Other symptoms pointing to contaminated or adulterated heroin include
fainting, hypotension, shock, or severe muscle cramping.

Heroin users who experience any of these symptoms should go to their closest hospital emergency department. Heath care providers working in emergency departments and urgent care settings
are encouraged to call the Carolinas Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 to report cases or seek assistance with patient management.

Carolinas Poison Center is working with the North Carolina Division of Public Health to identify the substance in these cases to prevent further harm.

Carolinas Poison Center offers North Carolina residents 24/7 free and confidential phone assistance with poisoning emergencies and questions about poisons. Nurses, pharmacists, and
doctors, who are experts in poisonings, handle the calls. The poison center received nearly 85,000 calls in 2014. It is the state’s designated poison center and is certified by the American
Association of Poison Control Centers (AAPCC). Call Carolinas Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 for a poison exposure or to request information about poisons.


Carolinas Poison Center
Contact: Alexa Steverson
Information & Education Coordinator


Additional Resources:

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National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors, Inc. Consensus Statement on the Use of Medications in Treatment of Substance Use Disorders

Numerous studies have shown the effectiveness of including medication in the treatment of some individuals with substance use disorders. For years, there has been limited use of medications for the treatment of substance dependence. Today, however, public and private health insurance plans are including (or at least considering) coverage of medication services along with psychosocial interventions for treatment of substance use disorders. A growing body of research substantiates that the use of FDA-approved medications can play an important role in the treatment of substance use disorders, especially for people with alcohol, opioid, or nicotine dependence, with continued research being done on medications for other substance use disorders. These studies demonstrate the efficacy of treating addiction as a chronic disease.  READ MORE

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Open House at Carolina Treatment Center, Pinehurst Displays Teamwork & Perseverance

By Kristen Hayes, CRC Corporate Communications Director

On Friday, September 14th, the Carolina Treatment Center in Pinehurst, NC held their first community Open House and celebrated National Recovery Month. The facility recently completed an expansion project, so the event included a special ribbon cutting ceremony with representatives from the Chamber of Commerce and the opportunity to tour the facility. They invited community providers to set up informational tables, held raffle drawings, had speakers discuss substance abuse and treatment, and sold food with all proceeds going to benefit a local youth substance abuse prevention program.

Before the event, Clinic Director Amy Morris said, “The goal of this event is to honor those who work in substance abuse prevention and treatment, and people in recovery from substance abuse disorders.”

After the event, Amy wrote in an email: “One year ago, I was given the opportunity to work as Director at Carolina Treatment Center in Pinehurst. I was given the task of taking a facility that had been without onsite leadership and was struggling with a community full of misinformed ideas and stigma. In addition, it was a facility that had outgrown itself. Staff members were sharing offices and niches that had been carved out of corners to work in. During this transitional time, staff morale had reached a low and turnover was astounding. There was much potential in the facility, the staff that had weathered the storm, and the community full of misinformation.

“I made a commitment to the staff to take care of their needs and they made a commitment to offer the highest quality of care and pursue the vision that I had for Pinehurst, even when it seemed daunting if not impossible, from where we stood.

“From January until now, the staff gave 100% and then some more. We embarked on a mission to fill vacant positions only with people who would be part of our goals and would accept nothing but the best from themselves and each other. Countless hours were spent reaching out to the community. There was a conscious effort to directly face the stigma that has always plagued opioid treatment. We dispersed across the law enforcement, prevention, social service, and treatment professionals throughout our county. We completed a renovation that allowed for 1600 square feet of additional treatment space with the help of Ed Ohlinger and Sam Moore. The staff at Carolina Treatment Center is absolutely the most dedicated team I have ever worked with and they do not ask for much in return.

“Last night was the accumulation of a yearlong effort to incorporate ourselves in the treatment community. Overwhelmingly, the response was positive. We were able to shake hands with people who would not take our calls 6 months ago. Parents came and shared their stories with each other and with us. They were thankful that we have opened our doors to the community to show that opiate treatment has a legitimate place and serves a grossly underserved, over stigmatized population. Family members and patients were proud to be part of our efforts and this event. We refuse to act as `the methadone clinic’ that people whisper about and are ashamed to attend.

“I would like to thank the staff at Pinehurst because without their hard work and dedication, none of this would be possible. I would like to thank Ed Ohlinger for giving me a chance to work on his team and allowing me to see a vision through and Sam Moore for his dedication to our expansion and renovations. I thank CRC for their continued commitment to the people we serve and the employees that work in the trenches of OTP treatment daily. With this continued support, Pinehurst has no limits. Keep watching because the best is yet to come.”

Echoed Katie Clark, a research assistant at the Yale School of Public Health who is also working towards her Masters of Science in Public Health at UNC Chapel Hill and was an invited speaker at the event, “I believe that opening the doors and showing the community what actually happens at treatment facilities can really work to reduce the stigma and intolerance that is associated with substance use disorder treatment facilities. I hope the staff are proud of their event. They showed commitment to their community and their patients.”

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