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Officials discuss 5 heroin deaths

READ MORE: Officials discuss 5 heroin deaths
WILMINGTON -- Those in the know met today to discuss the problem of heroin in our area. So far five people have died from the drug since early December. Officials say they are starting to get a better understanding of how these five people overdosed on heroin. Kenny House runs the substance abuse treatment center Coastal Horizons. He says according to drug users he's dealt with, the reason people are dying is because some of the heroin on the streets right now is extremely strong, and users are often mixing it with other drugs. House says sharing this information will likely deter people who have never tried the drug to stay away from it, but is worried that current heroin users will be enticed to find it and buy it. House is working on a plan to help those people get clean. He said, "Anytime we open up more treatment beds and more treatment slots and more people getting treatment, we bring solution to that because we get more people into treatment." New Hanover County is getting a $750,000 grant from the state to help deal with the substance abuse problem. The money will help bring long-term substance abuse treatment to the area -- something not currently available in New Hanover, Brunswick or Pender counties. That plan is also designed to help treat drug-addicted homeless in the area. Critics are concerned the state's plan may become more of a problem than a solution though.

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Tax Payers

Well maybe there are sons and daughters of hard working people who have paid taxes for years and never ask for anything. I'm sorry but a toilet on Greenville Loop Road is no concern to a parent who has lost a child.


I am horrified at the ignorance of sooooo many individuals.... If it were your baby boy, your baby girl, your sister, brother, mother or father would you still believe "let them die." I used to think the people here were wonderfully compassionate.... However I guess there is ignorance everywhere...I truly hope none of you ever have to eat your words... It must be devistating to watch someone you love go through such a hell on earth...

My best friend from HS died

My best friend from HS died because of an OD. He chose to take what he did. I feel very bad for his family and friends, but it was his choice and now he us suffering the ultimate sacrifice....his life. Most of us aren't saying "let them die", but we are saying how many times do we need to pay for them to get help. I have no problem with my tax money being spent on these shelters for first time offenders. What I do have a problem with is having to pay for repeat offenders, which most are repeat and repeat and repeat offenders. They screwed up their lives and should be given a chance to fix that screw up, ONCE. If they have a relapse, then they are on their own

I agree! Sometimes the

I agree! Sometimes the problem is people get too many chances. They continue to hurt people because they can. These rehabs and drug courts are a joke.


The statement that the $750,000 will bring long-term substance abuse treatment to the area is partly true. What it will do is to bring long-term substance abusers to the area. They will fail at treatment, stay in the area, continue to abuse, commit crimes etc. Perhaps getting rid of the various treatment programs will force the abusers to seek their treatment drugs somewhere else.

Wilmington is a drug haven

Wilmington is a drug haven, we need to change this!

Since when did we stop

Since when did we stop caring about the people in life that struggle? I agree rehab may not help but it is totally selfish not to at least consider others. It is our job to make the world around us a better place, you must ask yourself what are you doing to contribute. This world is made up of energy what goes around comes around...

Gee, thanks Barney!

Its not that we don't care about those "who struggle." We don't care about those who throw their lives away, or are simply incompetent at life management. Why don't YOU go take care of them?

Addiction doesn't always

Addiction doesn't always have to equate to having thrown ones life away or being incompetent at life management. With treatment, support and commitment, it is possible for an addict to reclaim their life. We all make crappy choices, some a whole hell of a lot worse than others. But that in and of itself does not have to be the end of the story. That's what treatment is about.

I'm with you 100%

So let THEM change course and redeem themselves with their own assets and abilities. Stop expecting society to fund life redemptions for idiots. In a country where we have bridges falling into rivers, sewers exploding everytime someone on Greenville Loop flushes a toilet, and a military stretched so thin that career soldiers are deserting, we need to set priorities. We can't be all things to all people unless you're planning on tax rates exceeding 50%. We need to spend every dollar where it will benefit the most people, and stop blowing billions on people who keep screwing up their lives. (That indictment obviously isn't restricted to addicts.)

Would but they could fall

Would but they could fall back on their own assets.. Sadly that is part of the puzzle that is missing for a great many addicts. Through their poor and destructive choices, the assets are long gone, and one can only hope that ability is something they still possess. You are correct, gov't cannot be all things to all people. However redemption for idiots is something done on a daily basis (falling bridges, exploding sewers, military, etc) and those things are no less important or costly than offering medical and psychological support for addicts, IMO. There isn't always a payoff, with people..not everyone who goes through treatment will be successful, true enough. But certainly society can cope with a bone being thrown here or there out of compassion, no?! We can't afford it.

Did you see the report about state roads and bridges tonight? We are facing an anticipated $64 Billion dollar shortfall in the coming years. Considering that, can you seriously justify wasting money on wasted lives? I can't. "Compassion" is great when it comes from the individual heart. When it comes on the backs and wallets of the taxpayers, it's not compassion at all - it's big government playing Robin Hood, punishing those who lead a successful, responsible life and giving the money to those who constantly and consistently screw their life up.

Ah yes, the $64 Billion

Ah yes, the $64 Billion shortfall of idiots that we will be paying for, yet How do we justify those wastes? That's a whole other conversation I suppose. Where you and I part ways I think is the idea that addicts are wastes. True enough, some are will never recover. But what about those who will, with treatment? If an addict comes to the realization that they MUST get help, if they take responsibilty for what they are doing to themselves and society, isn't it to our collective benefit to facilitate their transition into a productive member of the community? Don't forget, at some point these addicts have been taxpayers too, with just as little control as the rest of us over what their money has been wasted on by gov't. With a lot of support and personal fortitude they will be taxpayers again. Should gov't be Robin Hood? I don't think it could if it wanted to, tbh.

It's a matter of priorities

Turning them into productive taxpayers sounds very noble whether you're speaking of addicts or teenage, dropout, unwed mothers, but while we throw large sums of money at both problems, the results are disappointing. Are there some successes? Sure, but very few....and the parable of the one lost sheep doesn't translate well into governmental expenditures. The $750k state grant they plan on spending to save addicts locally could pay over one-tenth the cost of replacing the Third Street Bridge. That would benefit **ALL** taxpayers, not just a niche population of people who created their own nightmare. Heck - it will even give them a place to crash on rainy nights! (...and people claim I don't have a heart!?) Like I said elsewhere, unless we intend to return to the pre-Reagan tax rates of forty, fifty, as high as seventy percent, we can no longer afford to carry the dead weight of all those who cannot manage their lives properly, while still filling the rest of society's needs. Even though we have not yet moved into a full, European-style Socialist society, we are already seeing the clear evidence of why Socialism invariably collapses: Too many incompetents sucking the system dry, while the wealthy are forced to hide income and the pirate, underground economy grows. Altruism ends at the checkbook.

LOL Common...fair points,

LOL Common...fair points, all. I've enjoyed the exchange. ;)

Heroin deaths

It is very sad about these deaths. It is the dealers who have to be focused on. Get them. Use the $ for that. The user is already hooked and is sick. The source of the problem is the seller. Can't officials get names of people and do sting operations. They have been successful with this before I have seen it in the news. Just let them keep doing their job so the drugs get out of town.


The sellers wouldn't be there if the buyers weren't using's a two fold problem. There shouldn't be slapping on the wrist for EITHER party. BOTH are equally at fault for the drug problem.


All these comments are so negative. Saying they are a waste and to let the addicts die off. Theres a little thing called hope. And I have it for the drug users. Its not just a problem among the homeless and lower class families. Im from a middle to upper class family. I had a very bad problem with heroin. Ive had three years and five days clean. Ive become a productive member of society. So there is hope for them. These addicts have problems and trouble that no one else has the smallest idea about. So they self medicate. I did it, I dealt with my problems that I had, and it took the counslers at Tri County to give me the strength that I needed to overcome my addiction. Maybe thats all the other addicts need is some hope and maybe this will help.


that buys a lot of dope. Hey just let these people die off. No more drug useres means no more drug pushers, which in turn means a more productive society. Why dont we spend that money on other things that would benefit all of us, not just the retarded monkeys that want to ruin their own life. I want my tax dollars back.

I guess these comments about

I guess these comments about letting heroin addicts die are made from people who haven't had their children fall into the hands of heroin or any other type of addictive drug. I don't believe methodone is any better then heroin but people who want help in stopping this horrible habit do need a place to go. There has to be a better way other than switching one addition for another.

Herion and the new treatment

my opinion of the 750,000$ grant is a joke.Im an ex Herion user and was fooled when i heard of coastal horizon center and there methadone treatment. I came to learn that methadone was a legal way for me to get "high" just as high as herion made me with the same effects a intense warm feeling and of course the knodding out that herion addicts like.and when i went on the program i was told it would be for years.after about 6 months i thought to myself i just as well be doing herion.I got the same high,it was the point of methadone was legal and safer to go and get instead of going to drug areas,and possibly getting robbed or killed.when i went to coastal horizons i thought it would be for a few months or shorter just long enough to get through the physical sickness that comes with herion withdraws ,but lil did i know.after about 5 1/2 months i told the dr. that i was ready to start comeing off the methadone i was at 120 mg. a day dr. told me that i hadnt beenon it long enough to start tapering of yet that i least need to stay on it a year. i laughed after that day i never went back to coastal horizons i went through the worst withdraws i ever went through, i never got so sick off of herion withdraws as i did off of methadone i stayed sick cramping,vomiting,fevers ,cold sweats etc. for about 9 or ten days as with herion 3 days max. people dont understand that methadone is actually worst than herion. its just safer to use because its straight methadone as with herion its cut with so much stuff you really dont know what your putting into your body.but ive been clean for two years.because i set my mind,to committ to a clean lifestyle and with that and the help of jesus christ my lord and saviour im clean.I dont blame no one for my ex addiction, dope dealers,drug buddys etc.god gave me a abilaty to make desicions and as with other addicts i made a bad desicion to start using herion,but i had enough sense to stop before it killed me. Treatment centers is a waste of tax payers money unles the addict wants to commit to a clean lifestyle, then they can do it on there own with mabee a little bit of counseling not methadone.methade needs to be just as illegal as herion,and they need to go charge the methadone clinics as well as drug dealers cause its all the same thing.they just want you to trade one drug for another so they can get tax payers money. like i said if i could quit anybody can without all the methadone clinics and junk. just a little willpower and alot of jesus christ and anyone can get clean...i did and i was on it pretty bad, for about 5 years. i just want everyone to know dont start methadone its more addictive than herion find a N.A meeting and go to it find any way to stay clean exept coastal horizans methadone program or any methadone program far as that goes.


That is wonderful news about you (Herion & new teatment) Cudos go to you. If only more would listen and want to help themselves like you did. Praise and glory be with you.

Hairkutt, heroin detox documentary

REEL LIFE FILMS January 26, 2008 I recently read your article about drug abuse. The subject of illicit drug use is near and dear to me. I grew up in an area where drug abuse was common. As young people many of us participated in the drug trade as users , dealers and enjoyed the lifestyle. The participation in this subculture derailed our lives, in some cases for ever, and for the rest us success on any level became a dream and only a fraction of our original potential. It took jail and poverty among other things to force me into a change. With an intimate knowledge of my own failures, the love of my son, and the desire to help a friend, I took a chance and produced the award winning documentary Hairkutt. Hairkutt is the true story of one man’s life and death battle against heroin and his friends’ daring move to try to save him. Unflinchingly captured by the camera in a style more powerful and raw than any reality TV, Hairkutt takes us inside the personal nightmare of drug addicts to witness their horror, and the courage and desperation of those who love them. When I decided to make Hairkutt in 2002, I didn’t set out to make a movie for the fame, the money, or even for the art. I wasn’t an established filmmaker, having never shot anything other than the typical birthday party and backyard bar-b-que. But I was driven to make a very particular film for a very specific reason: to save lives. My decision was born of my love for a close friend who was a heroin addict, as well as my love for my son and a desire to emphasize to my child the dangers of drug use. The idea turned into a very risky endeavor, not only for me, but for everyone involved in making the film. Not only did we put our friendships and trust in each other on the line, at least one of us literally risked his life. Five years later, the film has wowed audiences across the country, garnered critical acclaim from major film critics, and won awards at several film festivals. As of January 15, the film is available nationwide on DVD. I want to make myself and my documentary available to you as a resource for any stories you develop in the future. You can find additional information on my film at . All the best, Curtis Elliott, Director/Producer

go ahead common tell us how

go ahead common tell us how great you are and how this plan is doomed to failure.


He did, and i agree 1000000000%.

You are hateful

Why are you so hateful SW? I don't think I've ever seen you post anything positive.

Who Cares?

If they keep killing themselves, the users....then who cares? Let them die. I consider it treason for them to breath our air.

grant for costal horitizons

i dont think it a good idea that they get a grant because they are giving people drugs to help get off drugs and they are going out and buying other drugs, pills and myself has a exwife that use drugs real bad and she got sent their and they have her on methadone everyday of the week and she stills go out and do drugs and buy pills i think they r saying its ok to do drugs and then come to us and we give u drugs to get off drugs and its ok for u to go out and do more drugs

Truly Earth Shaking News!

The guy running the rehab center wants to get more people into rehab? Whoa! What's next? McDonalds wants people to eat more burgers? The owner of the local Ford dealership wants people to buy Fords? (Are we starting to sense a self-serving interest here, folks?) Of course, we don't have to see $750k of our tax dollars blown to buy burgers or Fords for the indigent, do we? The drug-addicted THERE'S a group of people we should be spending a lot of time and money on....

The more local people we get

The more local people we get in a local rehab to more ways addicts are learning to get drugs