Last Updated on December 10, 2019 by Valarie Ward
A quick Google search for “Heroin Use in Charlotte, NC” produced the following results:
These headlines are just a handful of the 58,000 search results for this term. The increasing number of deaths due to heroin overdose and abuse makes this topic hard to ignore. Recently, WCNC reporter, Bora Kim, covered a story of a tragic death of a youth in Charlotte who was killed by a heroin overdose. As a part of her story, Kim interviewed two Absolute Advocacy service providers and Mecklenburg County substance abuse counselors, Yvonne Ward and Bill Briggs, to ask them what can be done about this growing problem. Take a look at the video for their response.
Both Bill and Yvonne agree that one of the main issues with many of the existing drug prevention campaigns and methods is they are simply being ignored. With reports showing Charlotte among the cities with the fastest growing number of heroin users under the age of 25, the current prevention initiatives are not effective and are seen as outdated, especially among youth and young adults.
As both counselors point out in the news report, the “Say No To Drugs” campaigns from the ’80’s are no longer effective in reaching youth. If the Charlotte area is going to address this problem, the community of law enforcement, drug abuse counselors, elected officials, media and even city residents and neighbors are going to have to work together to develop more aggressive ways to reach the youth to prevent them from the dangers and risks associated with the use of heroin and other illicit drugs.
Because not everyone experiences the effect of substance use in the same way, counselors believe more effective prevention methods should consider the age and gender of individuals who use drugs. As providers of alcohol and drug abuse education classes, we agree. We would also add that different mediums can be used as well. From instant messaging apps like Snap Chat to placing ads inside of frequently used apps by teens and young adults, technology will be sure to play an effective role in preventing deaths and injuries related to drug abuse and misuse.
Finding a drug rehab is never easy as rehab centers don’t exist in large numbers in the rural areas and the ones which exist don’t usually offer the complete services of getting detoxified. It might cost a little more, but I would suggest you to find a place which can help you get rid of your addiction entirely so that there is no chance of relapse after the treatments over.
What do you think can be done to help save lives and prevent drug abuse in our community?
Jessica Shook says
Have you guys ever thought about organizing a 5k run to raise awareness? I’ve seen other states do “hope against heroin” 5k’s. I think it’s a cool idea.
I lost my brother to a heroin overdose a little over a year ago, and I’ve been looking for ways to do something to advocate.
Morris Green says
Hey Jessica..I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your brother.
We’ve been looking for ways to bring about awareness outside of the work that we already do. The 5k is a great idea! Feel free to email me if you have any other ideas or if you’re looking for a way to get involved.