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Cooper Outlines Opioid Plan
Written by Bruce Ferrell   
Tuesday, 27 June 2017 14:29

RALEIGH -- Governor Roy Cooper  kicked off the Opioid Misuse and Overdose Prevention Summit and announced North Carolina’s Opioid Action Plan. Opioid overdose has claimed more than 12,000 lives in North Carolina since 1999, with opioid-related overdoses deaths up more than 800 percent in the state through 2016.

Gov. Cooper today joined Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D., to announce a plan to fight opioid abuse and overdose deaths. The plan is the product of input from many partners and sets strategies to reduce the number of deaths and measure progress. In 2016, opioid-related deaths in North Carolina were up by 20 percent from the previous year, according to DHHS data. If that rate continues, by 2021 North Carolina would expect to lose more than 1,500 additional lives per year to opioid overdose.

“North Carolina is losing lives to opioids, an addiction that ravages physical and mental health, hurts families and communities, and holds back our economy,” Governor Cooper said. “This plan gives us a path to reduce these deaths and turn the tide on this crisis.”

Governor Cooper serves on the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis. Other speakers at the two-day summit include Attorney General Josh Stein, leaders from the Centers for Disease Control, and experts from numerous organizations across North Carolina working to reduce the opioid epidemic.

“I thank Gov. Cooper and Sec. Cohen for focusing more attention on the opioid crisis with today’s summit,” said Attorney General Stein, who will speak at the summit Wednesday. “As a state, we must work together to prevent people from becoming addicted to these dangerous drugs, treat those who are and give law enforcement the tools they need to go after the traffickers who are profiting off the death and misery of others.”

Following Governor Cooper’s announcement, Secretary Cohen presented an overview of the plan’s strategies and applauded the collaboration among the nearly 600 attending the summit. She noted that the epidemic will require partnerships from many sectors and will need to be well funded and resourced to be successful.

“We have a lot of work to do,” Secretary Cohen said. “The opioid crisis is a devastating and complex issue that requires multi- faceted, collaborative action across the health, law enforcement, education, business, non-profit and government sectors. We are all here today, to join together in fighting this epidemic.”

 

 
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