Learn More: Community Resources

“Opioid abuse is a serious public health issue. Drug overdose deaths are the leading cause of injury death in the United States. Protect yourself and your loved ones from prescription drug abuse and overdose death.” – US Department of Health and Human Services

Opioids & Overdose

Opioids reduce pain and are “downers.” They slow down breathing and can make people sleepy.

Prescribed and illegal opioids include heroin, fentanyl, OxyContin, Vicodin, codeine, methadone and morphine. Opioids like fentanyl are also showing up in other street drugs.

Anybody who takes a toxic amount of opioids can overdose. It can cause a person to stop breathing, leading to brain damage and death.


Additional resources:

According to the NC Division of Public Health, there were nearly 12,000 hospitalizations and almost 22,000 emergency department visits related to medication and drug poisoning in 2014. Since 1999, the number of drug poisoning deaths in North Carolina has increased by 440%, from 363 to 1,965 in 2016.

The Injury and Violence Prevention Branch (IVPB) generates multiple resources to help keep their partners informed about overdoses in North Carolina:

  • Listen to a recording of the core set of overdose data slides from December 2017.
  • Visit the IVPB Poisoning Data page for county-level data tables on opioid dispensing, as well as overdose deaths, hospitalizations, and emergency department visits.
  • The Statewide Surveillance Reports folder contains monthly emergency department reports, monthly NC Harm Reduction data updates, and county-level overdose slide sets.
  • Quarterly updates to North Carolina’s Opioid Action Plan are available on the NC DHHS Opioid Crisis.
    • If you have additional questions about emergency department, emergency medical services (EMS), or law enforcement data please contact Sherani Jagroep at sherani.jagroep@dhhs.nc.gov.
    • For all other substance use data questions contact Mary Beth Cox at marybeth.cox@dhhs.nc.gov.

Additional Data Resources:

Resources for Pregnant Women:

June 12-13, 2018 – North Carolina Coalition Summit at NC State University’s McKimmon Center: Join coalitions, community leaders, and youth advocates from across North Carolina to address prescription drug misuse. More information and registration is available on the North Carolina Coalition Summit website.

Below are a few ways to get involved and help fight the opioid crisis through volunteering:

  • Cape Fear Coalition for a Drug Free Tomorrow supports the community in its commitment to change attitudes, encourage action, and mobilize stakeholders around the issues of underage drinking, impaired driving, and substance abuse.
  • Safe Kids Cape Fear strives to reduce the number of unintentional deaths and injury to children ages 0-19 years in our area through prevention, intervention, and education. The coalition promotes changes in attitudes, behavior, laws and the environment to prevent accidental injury to children. 

State Information: 


Federal Information: 

“The opioid epidemic is taking lives and tearing families apart across the country, including North Carolina. More people die in North Carolina of an accidental drug overdose – usually an opioid – than any other cause of accidental death.” – NC Department of Justice: Confronting NC’s Opioid Crisis

Health: 2029 S. 17th Street • Wilmington, NC 28401 • Phone 910-798-6500 • Fax 910-341-4146 • Medical Records Fax 910-772-7805
Environmental Health: 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 140 • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-6667 • Fax 910-798-7815