Community meets with leaders to discuss opioid crisis


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The community filled Kenan Auditorium at UNCW to attend a panel discussion created by SEAHEC, The South East Area Health Education Center, to continue to fight the opioid epidemic.

The crisis doesn’t stop with the person who has the addiction, it has a ripple effect. The panel featured local officials like Mayor Bill Saffo and Philip Brown with the New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Each had the goal to combat this problem.

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“Dealing with this problem is going to take a long time. We’re going to see progress all along the way but we can’t get tired,” Brown said. “Our stamina has to remain steadfast. We’re going to have to push into this for many many years.”

The epidemic affects everyone and that’s why those in attendance say they wanted to get involved. One parent says their child is an addict, and meetings like this are going to capture people’s attention and make people aware.

“Tonight, we talked about the elephant in the room,” Chick Coleman, parent of an addict, said. “There are 600 people here but in your viewing area there are 300,000. A lot of them don’t realize the magnitude of the snake that has us by the throat.”

Chick Coleman says he felt the meeting went well and it was something that needed to be done for a long time.

SEAHEC says you can drop off medication at several different locations in the Cape Fear.

New Hanover County: New Hanover Regional Medical Center Outpatient Pharmacy, New Hanover County Courthouse- Room 201, New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office- Castle Hayne, Walgreens-4521 Oldeander Drive, Carolina Beach Police Department.

Pender County: Pender County Sheriff’s Office- Burgaw, Surf City Police Department

Columbus County: Columbus County Sheriff’s Office-Whiteville, Chadbourn Police Department

Brunswick County: Leland Police Department, Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office- Leland, Bolivia & Calabash, Boiling Springs Police Department, Ocean Isle Beach Police Department, Shallotte Police Department.

For more information, you can visit their website by clicking here.