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Charlotte Talks: Governor Cooper, Medical And Law Enforcement Professionals On NC's Opioid Epidemic

Flickr/Magic Madzik

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Governor Roy Cooper as well as medical and law enforcement professionals share their thoughts on the deadliest drug crisis in American history - one taking a major toll in North Carolina - the opioid epidemic.

North Carolina ranks among the nation's top ten in opioid related deaths, with heroin and opioid overdoses now the largest cause of accidental death in the state. The death toll is rising and the problem doesn’t discriminate based on socioeconomic status.

It's both a health and a crime problem, and both health care and law enforcement entities have modified their approaches to the opioid crisis. Doctors are changing the way they prescribe opioids and treat addiction, and some police departments are tweaking their "law and order" approach to help addicts seek treatment.

The President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis, which North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper is a member of, recently released initial recommendations with a final report expected this fall. One of the commission's recommendation is to declare a national emergency, which would make federal funds available for states dealing with the crisis. President Trump has not formally declared a national emergency, but is considering it.

Mike Collins talks with Governor Cooper and health care and law enforcement representatives about the opioid epidemic in North Carolina.


Governor Roy Cooper - Governor of North Carolina, member of the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis

Dr. Stephen Wyatt - medical director of addiction medicine at Carolinas HealthCare System

Detective Paul Foushee - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

Thomas Bashore - Chief of Police, Nashville NC Police Department. Their HOPE initiative, a joint effort between Nashville's town manager and the police chief aims to help addicts beat opioid addiction.

Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.