Recovering addict offers advice as heroin overdoses spike in Wilmington

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington police and Coastal Horizons are warning people that overdoses are on the rise in the area.

WPD says officers have responded to seven overdose cases since October 1, two of which being fatal. A spokesperson says they suspect there are more cases that were not reported.

There have been 254 overdoses so far in 2020, up from 206 in 2019 but down from 364 in 2018.

Quick Response Team Supervisor Buffy Taylor says she believes it’s largely due to the pandemic.

“I think it’s due to increased depression, increased anxiety, increased isolation, which all makes people triggered to go to use,” Taylor said. “I think there’s also an increase in fentanyl in a lot of the heroin right now.”

Recovering addict Scott Miller says Taylor is exactly right.

“It feels like the world is working against you in some way,” Miller said.

He says isolation fuels addiction.

“When you’re left to be in your own mind for that long, especially if you’re out of work like a lot of people are nowadays,” Miller said. “When it’s something like this that makes it that much worse, yeah definitely.”

Miller has dealt with addiction for 15 years, recently coming clean.

“It was hard for me because I’ve never been this way, but to talk to somebody about it, number one, would be the best thing,” he said. “But I know how that is, because I never did. I always shut down, especially in my addiction.”

Places like Coastal Horizons and Hebron Colony Ministries in Boone helped him on his journey to a life without addiction.

“Finding my Lord Jesus Christ again, that’s probably been the biggest thing,” Miller said.

Miller says after reconnecting to his faith his addiction is no longer a battle he fights every day.

If you are looking to contact Coastal Horizons, there are many ways they can be reached.

  • Call Outpatient Treatment Services at (910)-343-0145 and ask to speak with a counselor
  • For those surviving an overdose and/or looking for help, call the Quick Response Team at (910)-833-2052 and someone will assist you
  • Monday thru Friday 8am-4pm, Walk-in to their Outpatient Treatment Services location at 615 Shipyard Blvd. in Wilmington.
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