GREENSBORO, N.C. – More than 60 percent of all drug overdose deaths are caused by opioids. It’s an issue across the nation that we’re seeing here at home.
That’s why Greensboro city leaders are taking steps to make people more aware of the dangers. Awareness and action were the themes for Saturday’s discussion.
"The main purpose of this event was just to have conversation, healthy conversation,” said Deputy Chief James Hinson of the Greensboro Police Department.
The panel said that opioid abuse attacked all demographics and that drug addiction doesn’t discriminate.
"It can attack anyone and we want family members to know that if it attacks your family, some ways that you can combat this, but mainly they need support,” said Hinson.
Greensboro police said that they receive overdose calls frequently and every year statistics continue to increase.
In 2018, police said they had a total of 63 deaths and 422 overdoses. In 2019, police have already seen eight deaths and more than 60 doses. And it's just February.
Deputy Chief Hinson said they’re already on pace to pass the current numbers, so the goal is to stop the illegal use and distribution of opioids like heroine and meth.
"And those individuals that are bringing drugs in our community, hold them accountable,” Hinson said. “Because unless we do that, we're going to continue to have an epidemic and continue to affect our children and their children's children.”
They also said there’s a huge issue with the abuse of legal opioids as well.
"It's going to take a joint effort by the medical community, the police department and of course the general public,” said Imran Haque, a medical profession.
More than 11 million Americans misuse prescription opioids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
It's going to take effort of people from all walks of life to beat such a huge issue making a presence in Greensboro.