I attended an Opioid Forum this afternoon in Pender County hosted by the Pender County Board of Commissioners to support our Co-Chair, Vanessa Boyles Sapp as she shared her story as an impacted parent. Jason and Vanessa lost their son, Wes. Vanessa did a wonderful job. The best word I can use to describe what I felt as I sat in the room and observed those in attendance is ENCOURAGED. It was encouraging to see the community come together in a united effort to address this crisis. It was encouraging to see County Commissioners, Town Managers, the Sheriff, Judges, the District Attorney, law enforcement, EMS, treatment providers, SEAHEC, DSS, school board members, the School Superintendent, impacted families and concerned community members come together in a united effort to address the opioid crisis, its impact in the community and discuss what is needed to confront it and combat it. What I witnessed this afternoon in Pender County needs to happen in every county in North Carolina. – Alecia Robert, Chairperson