Three-county drug abuse summit scheduled for Oct. 19

Published 4:18 pm Tuesday, September 5, 2017

A three-county summit on drug abuse is scheduled for the Bob Martin Center in Williamston on Oct. 19, Tyrrell Manager David Clegg announced.
“It’s designed to engage every area of our communities,” Clegg remarked, “thus the Bob Martin Center was chosen for its size.”
The session, open to the public and hosted by Martin-Tyrrell-Washington District Health Department, was set up after Tyrrell commissioners on July 18 directed Clegg to coordinate with the interim director at MTW and the other two county managers in the district in arranging a time and place for the forum.
Opioid overdose includes poisoning with opium, heroin, opioids, methadone and other synthetic narcotics, whether accidental, intentional, assault or undetermined.
Meanwhile, Hyde County commissioners on July 13 hosted a leadership forum to develop collaborative strategies for prevention, education and treatment. Included via teleconferencing were local elected leaders, substance abuse agencies, county staff and others in Swan Quarter and Ocracoke venues.
Hyde’s initial goals are to educate people to prevent addiction, to provide resources to help people recover from addiction, and to stop illegal drug activity.
Public input meetings in each township, to begin in late August, are to educate residents on the signs and symptoms of opioid abuse, to share information on current treatment resources available and to gather citizen input to aid in planning and implementing a program.
Hyde County reportedly will create a web page that contains resources and an opportunity for residents to sign up for email updates on the group’s progress. Also, information is to be posted on Hyde’s Public Information Facebook page.
By definition opioid overdose cases include poisonings with opium, heroin, opioids, methadone and other synthetic narcotics; by all intents (accidental, intentional, assault and undetermined).
The state Department of Health and Human Services reported 545 opioid overdose hospital emergency department visits in June.
Increases, mainly in heroin overdose, have been reported monthly since January.
In North Carolina, 86 percent of emergency department visits for opioid overdose occur among whites, 10 percent among blacks, and 4 percent in other races, and most among the 25-34 age group.
Four people, ages 20-48, died in Tyrrell County in 2011-15 from opioid overdose, the state medical examiner’s office reported.
Narcan has been administered successfully to two people since Tyrrell deputies were trained in its use last year, Sheriff Darry Liverman reported in April. Narcan (naloxone) is sprayed into the nose to block the effects of opioids, especially in overdose situations.
“Prescription medication use and abuse, and especially use of opioids, has increased dramatically in Tyrrell County,” the sheriff stated last spring. “Also, the illegal sale of prescription medication. Deputies are now seizing more prescription medication than marijuana and cocaine.”
The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners initiated the forum idea in a recent memo to all 100 counties.