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WPD worried about heroin problem

WILMINGTON -- Wilmington police are worried about a dramatic spike in fatal heroin overdoses. There have been three in the city the last two months. The parents of a woman who died of a heroin overdose say the drug problem here has been in crisis mode for years. In 2004 Keith and Rachel Thompson lost their daughter Blair to heroin two days before Christmas. The Thompsons have since worked to raise awareness about the dangers of the drug and say there are three things the area needs to do to really crack down on the use of heroin. One is to educate children and parents about the drug, two, get stricter laws against drug dealers and get treatment facilities in the area which are easily accessible to users who want help. Rachel Thompson said, "They get so desperate, there's no where to go, they just go out and do more drugs, commit a hundred crimes, they're filling up our jails, 85 percent of people in jail are all drug related." Keith Thompson said, "We're just a city that is having a drug problem but we could be the city that decides to do something about it. That's where we need to be." The Thompsons are working with New Hanover County commissioners to try and get a drug rehabilitation center built near the jail. That facility is in the very early stages of discussion right now. Woman overcomes addiction One local young lady has overcome her addiction to heroin, but not before coming close to death on numerous occasions. Kathy is a former heroin user. She said, "I've lost everything I've ever had ten times over because of my addiction." Kathy doesn't want to show her face or use her real name. She's a 23 year old woman who began using heroin at the age of 19. She became addicted the first time she tried the drug. "I was doing anything I could do get high, I was stealing from my family, robbing myself of every dream I ever had," Kathy said. After two years of abusing her body Kathy had been to the Oaks, tri-county detox and the ER. Kathy decided to get help from a privately funded rehab center. "Finally I woke up one day and I was so tired of being sick and tired," Kathy said. She's been clean for two years now but worries about other people like her who are still struggling with their addiction. Kathy said, "If you use in Wilmington and you get help in Wilmington, then you're just going to meet more people to get high with or you're going to meet new people to get it from." Kathy says the reason heroin abuse has become such a problem over the years is the lack of affordable rehabilitation centers in our area. "There needs to be more awareness, there needs to be more state funded facilities for the people who want help, who need help." Statistics show 98 percent of people who try heroin become addicted. One Wilmington couple who lost their daughter to a heroin overdose in 2004 is working with county commissioners to try and get a state funded rehab center built near the New Hanover County jail. That project is only in the early stage of development at this point.
For more info: Wilmington Treatment Center (910) 762-2727 Accredited Alcohol and Drug Addiction Treatment Center of Firs (910) 762-7173 Drug Treatment Center (910) 259-4230

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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 ____________________________________________________________________________________ P.O. Box 2260, Florissant, MO, 63032 •


I understand that the parents of the young woman who died shortly before Christmas two years ago want to do something to rectify her life/death by having a treatment facility built near the jail, but this seems like a very VERY unwise attempt. As "Kathy" the ex-heroin addict herself says: "If you use in Wilmington and you get help in Wilmington, then you're just going to meet more people to get high with or you're going to meet new people to get it from." Building a facility near the jail will just build more of a heroin community in this area. If you don't meet more contacts in the jail, just go to the treatment facility. Treatment success is mostly dependent on the addicts want to quit. You can put treatment facilities on the corner of every block but it doesn't mean they'll work.


You are never going to stop the flow of drugs into this country. No way, No how, Nodda. The only way to fix the problem is education, and stop charging these people for possesion. If they commit a crime then lock them up, but look how much it cost us to jail all the people charged with drugs. Its costing the taxpayer billions, repeat billions of dollars to arrest and put people through the system for no reason. Most of the time they dont get jail time anyway, its just a big waste of money, especially for the weed smokers.People that think you're going to stop the drugs from coming in are just plain stupid.They have been around before our time and will be here after we're all dead & gone.

Keep judging

I know how easy it is to sit back and judge.. we all do it all of the time... As the sister of a recovering addict I can tell you that the process you go through to get help in our area is DISCOURAGING and I really believe that it makes the drug problem that much worse. People start using drugs for many don't have to have sympathy for them, however we need to fix the problem before our children end up falling into it... PREVENTION, TOUGHER DRUG LAWS and YES better REHABILITATION programs in this area!!! It is EVERYONES' problem.. look at crime vs. drugs.. they go hand in hand.... we need to work quicker than the drug smugglers, manufacturers and dealers... it is our problem

It's not my problem...

...and I carry a .45 in case someone tries to make it my problem. Why do "WE" have to keep throwing money at a problem that effects so few people? My kids aren't addicts. One is a deputy sheriff, one is career military - both productive, tax paying members in society. I did my job. Why do I have to pay for other people's failures? BTW, tougher drug laws will do nothing. We don't have the backbone to enforce the existing laws. When we release someone from prison who is arrested again, and then sentence them to probation, the system is simply not doing its job. I say legalize all of the junk and then hold people responsible for their own actions. An addicted armed robber is first and foremost an armed robber. Lock him up for a long, lonnnngggggg time! Warehousing addicts is just as effective at keeping society safe, and far cheaper than endless rehab cycles.

first off we worring about

first off we worring about the drugs on the street, what about the drugs the police department steroids, how can we trust the police department when they cover up and lie for each other. now herion, this been killing inner city blacks and hurting families black family for the longest and now its starting on white america. now they want to stop it.please. new hanover country first have to clean up there owe house first, be for they battle this, i bet yall dont know there more drugs at unc-wilmington then there is in houston moore and garden lake. there more police officer using steroids then the barry bonds. i hope and pray that this drug is stop, but as long as we at war in the middle east.we never beat herion. i hope that yall troops are not hooked on this drug as was world war 2.

I knew it would come out

Why, Chad, do you have to bring out the race card? Race has nothing to do with this. And as far as LEO using steroids, what proof do you have? Do you say that because there are LEO that don't fit the old stereo-type of cops eating donuts? I personally know two deputies that are body builders. They work out 6 days a week and have a strict diet. I guess we should think they are on steroids because they have muscles and don't have a beer belly

Government Funding

I believe as well if the government were to drop back from funding these rehab centers. Our world would be after some time, starting to look like a Resident Evil game. There has to be some sort of population control for these addicts. So, I am no where against government funding.

Leave them alone....

..and they will "control their population" themselves. Most heroin addicts don't see their fortieth birthday.

yep yep, if you are stupid

yep yep, if you are stupid enough to inject this poison into your body, you get what you get all hooked, commit crimes to get your next fix....and then want decent society to pay for your is a great idea, how about not doing drugs at all?...I have pity for people who need help and didn't cause their situation IE: mental illness etc....but if you shoot dope you get no pity from me.

Problem starts at the top

I'll be a thorn and blame the government for allowing this to continue at the scale that it does in our society. Not Bush, or any particular political party, but the last few proceeding administrations. If they feel they can take the tax money from the hard working citizens of the country and fund housing projects and aid programs, they should have spent money on prevention first. The government has massive plans and the people involved in keeping mad cow disease and bird flu out of the country or at least to combat any potential problem. But they cannot even start to stem the tide on the amounts of the illegal drugs coming into this country? NO! The system thrives on this chaos. A lot of people would be out of work if the courts didn't have these people to put on trial, being treated in re-hab facilities, or staffing government aid programs. Kind of like the government education system across our fine nation now. If the government system didn't profit from the dumbing down of our nation, then why are the promoters of that system so proficient at it? It keeps them in power and in a good job that they do not deserve.

true but false....

The difference between the bird flu and heroin is that EVERYONE wants bird flu to be gone BUT.... Your dope pushers, crackheads, and dealers dont want heroin gone....And for the government systems to work it must have 100% approval and support....

Government's fault

You are right, Rivenbark, in many ways is is the government's fault. My opinion is that the drug should be taken out of the drug dealers hands and made legal so that doctors can write prescriptions for this medicine put here on this earth by mother nature. In other words, its use does not have to cause such misery. If the government would man up and control the drug instead of letting the drug dealers control it and turn it into poison instead of medicine---for which it has been used for millenia.

Apples and oranges

There's are distinct differences between the three illnesses you list. Mad cow disease has the capability to kill an unknown number of people and wipe out a multi-billion dollar industry in the United States. It would be an economic nightmare. The bird flu might kill millions of people who did nothing more than breathe while walking through the mall. It could cause an even greater economic devastation. From a political view, however, drug addiction primarily impacts a niche population of people that are economically inconsequential and usually have rampant socio-economic problems to begin with. Thus their addiction is relatively inconsequential to the nation as a whole. As one of my college professors so coldly put it, "The government actually profits when a welfare recipient or criminal ODs." From a practical view, prohibition doesn't work. It never has worked, it never will work, and the overseas suppliers are simply providing a supply to fill the enormous demand this country presents. End the demand and the supply will die a natural death. Until then, there will be a supply provided by someone, because there are unbelievable amounts of money to be made filling that unquenchable thirst for drugs . We pay great lipservice to our War on Drugs, but it is now mostly a jobs program, employing millions of law enforcement officers, corrections officers, and court personnel. The war itself has been a miserable failure. You can never stop people from destroying their life. Whether we're talking about alcohol, drugs, turning to crime, all comes down to personal behavior, individual responsibility, and rational decision-making. If a child grows and reaches adulthood without a strong parental force teaching the importance of those three qualities and accepting nothing less from the child, you have little hope of ever salvaging that person.

Blame everyone but yourself

"Kathy says the reason heroin abuse has become such a problem over the years is the lack of affordable rehabilitation centers in our area." Not hardy. The reason heroin abuse has become such a problem is because people like YOU are stupid enough to inject it into their bodies. If you were severely burned while stealing gasoline, would you blame your injuries on the fire station being too far away? Why can NO ONE take responsibilities for their own reckless behavior? Why does the state have to fund rehab, for people who intentionally set out to screw up their lives? God help this country.

Yea and it

will get a lot worse. Big Brother Goverment. Caring for those who dont care bout themselves.

You foolish man

If there was no fire station within a reasonable distance, there would be a public outcry. Drugs are an addiction that our governement has a part in due to letting supplies come in, and supporting countrys of know drug trafficing. They are addictive. Most of the people who are addicted are poor or become poor from the drugs. Yes, the state does have to fund rehab or our citys, states and country will become more and more unlawful. Do you want your neighborhood filled with drug addicts and their children who will become drug addicts? You said "God bless this country" Maybe you would be happier living in Bolivia, Columbia or Peru. Then you wouldn't have to worry about your tax dollars keeping our city and our children safe!!

You really don't get it, do you?

You totally miss Common's main point. If she was burned while stealing gasoline, it would still be her fault! It would have nothing to do with the fire department's distance or response time, just as an alleged shortage of rehabilitation centers didn't make this woman an addict. She did. She is the problem. Her fault. Her fault. Why can't you say those two simple words?

Most are not poor

Many of your well to do, families have money folks are the ones partaking in the drugs. The Thompsons for example were/are prominent folks yet their daughter is now gone. You don't always hear of the drug OD's from the UNCW campus either. Or the ones who are presented to the ER dead or near death. I agree with's time people take responsibility for their own actions. But nowadays the judicial system gives a slap on the wrist. I know it sounds harsh, but public humility needs to make a comeback.

What I said was...

God HELP this country. God save it from mamsy-pamsy coddlers who will not hold people responsible for their own actions. Easy to play fast and loose with other people's money, isn't it? Absolutely no one is responsible for Kathy's addiction except Kathy. She is the one who decided to pump poison into her body. To blame the problem of addiction on a lack of rehab centers not only conveniently displaces blame, it presents a totally ludicrous argument: She wouldn't have NEEDED a rehab center had she not already been addicted! I understand weasels refusing to accept responsiblity for their own stupidity, but I'll never understand you enablers arguing their point. Yes, God help this country.

I agree that one has to take

I agree that one has to take responsibility for their own actions. But if you think not supporting treatment centers somehow keeps you from paying for the addictions of others in other ways, you are mistaken. You can always *hope* that the addict keels over before costing you in law enforcement man hours, but sadly, that is not often the case. So one way or the other, you're already paying for it. At least with treatment, the addict has more likely as not already taken the first steps at being responsible for their actions and with a lot of hard work and support, can turn it around and become productive members of society.

Warehouse them

It may nor clean them up, but it keeps them off the streets. I have no problem paying for a prison cell, as long as we utilize its maximum caoacity.

But you're paying

But you're paying none-the-less. And if all the stars align, they would hopefully get some form of treatment in prison, so even in that you're paying. So why be so resistant to the idea that more/better treatment needs to be available? If someone can come to the point of seeking treatment, thereby accepting responsibility for what they are doing to themselves, their family and their community, why should prison be the only alternative for them to receive treatment? Doesn't it benefit the community in the long run to make these services available? Your tax money is already spent in worse ways, my friend.

heroin problem

This sounds like it should be the humane and most promising answer. However, take the time to look into how many people who "make it" to this realization, actually stay in recovery. Sadly, many who enter a rehab center or facility, do not remain dedicated to their plan. There must be an answer, but it will take a lot of time, thought, and following through. There also must be legal ramifications for these people who reach the point that they are willing to take or inject a substance into theirs and others lives that will change it forever...all in the name of "a party". It doesn't sound as though it ends up being much fun to me.

Treatment facilities do not work

Who says treatments work? Why should I pay for these losers to attent treatment faciilites just to get out and get back on the drugs? At least when they are locked up I don't have to worry about them breaking into my house and stealing my things so that they can buy more drugs

WilmMan, treatment for any

WilmMan, treatment for any addiction can be a long, arduous process, and I will be the first to admit to you that not everyone is successful. Sometimes being arrested is hitting bottom for some of these people, and in prison you can only hope they get the help they need. But consider that once they've broken into your house, the damage to society (and your pocketbook) has been done. Why be so resistant to treatment centers that could very possibly help these people before they get to that point? Is it just an utter lack of compassion or practicality with you?

Well put.....

I couldn't agree more....well said!


Common is right, as usual. You did the drugs NOT us so do not expect us to pay for your detox.


Common....I would have to agree with you 100%. The problem is that nobody wants to take responsibility for their own actions. We always want to blame someone else. Why does it always have to be someone else's fault? Man up!

When the kids man up THERE

When the kids man up THERE IS NO HELP>>>>>>>what part of that does any one not get? Please cast the first stone if you never done something stupid in your life....Herion is a drug that you only get one chance ,,,,one time your whole life is changed and your families...and there is no help in wilmington .....if you hungry there is soup kitchens....these kids need help and you should not talk about something if you don't get up in your community and learn about it!