Update from Brittany Hales, NCPCC Central Regional Director:

Bladen county organized a very informative meeting at BCC today to try to bring the community leaders together to battle the opioid epidemic. It began with Richard Allen providing an educational presentation on heroin. Afterwards, a local pharmacist presented to help others understand that addiction is a disease. Other speakers also included a local judge and Judge Ola Lewis who serves on NCPCC’s Advisory Board (who is AWESOME), economic development director, school superintendent (who hasnt identified any drug problems in our schools), hospital director, EMT, Eastpointe, faith based treatment provider, DSS representative, Doyle Owen, NCPCC District 13 Leader (shared his sons story and how his addiction actually began at school) health department director and other community speakers who all shared how the opioid crisis is affecting their entity. Also in attendance was, Don Flattery, NCPCC’s Advocacy Chair and a member of the Brunswick planning committee shared their plan for battling this epedemic with Bladen county (I must add that I have read that plan and it is awesome). With such a full schedule we did not get to “part 2” of the meeting which was to form action committees. Another meeting will be held in about 2 weeks. I think many leader’s eyes were opened to learn the severity of this problem in Bladen county. I look forward to working with this great group of people! – Brittany Hales