Opioids & Law Enforcement

Law enforcement plays a critical role in helping to fight the opioid crisis through task force partnerships, training, and – as the front line on the streets – preventing overdose deaths.

Wilmington Police Department knows not all cases are the same, and arrest isn’t always the answer. LEAD® is founded on the idea that narcotics use is more often a public health problem than a criminal justice problem.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, take the LEAD and call 910-762-5333.

Click here to learn more about LEAD Wilmington.


Not all cases are the same. Arrest isn’t always the answer. Let us help you. 

Call 910-762-5333 for referrals and to learn more about LEAD Wilmington.

LEAD® is founded on the idea that narcotics use is more often a public health problem than a criminal justice problem.

Police exercise discretionary authority to redirect individuals to a community-based, harm-reduction intervention for minor narcotics related violations.

In lieu of the normal criminal justice system cycle — booking, detention, prosecution, conviction, incarceration — individuals, 18 years or older, are instead referred into an intensive case-management program where they receive a wide range of support services, often including transitional and permanent housing and/or drug treatment.

  • Social Referral: Individuals who are seeking treatment for narcotics addiction.
  • Criminal Referral: Individuals who have committed a minor criminal offense and have been identified as an abuser of controlled substances.


Additional Resources

The Injury and Violence Prevention Branch (IVPB) of the NC Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) generates multiple resources to help keep its partners informed about overdose 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.
Health: 1650 Greenfield Street • Wilmington, NC 28401 • Phone 910-798-3500 • Fax 910-798-7834 • Human Services Fax 910-798-7824
Environmental Health: 230 Government Center Drive, Suite 140 • Wilmington, NC 28403 • Phone 910-798-6667 • Fax 910-798-7815
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