The opioid epidemic is something leaders in our state and every state continue to fight.
In Greenville, Fire and Rescue say opioid overdoses are up 150% from this time last year.
“You never think that that’s going to happen to your child”, that’s what Karen Roblin told WNCT’s Dillon Huffman after she lost her son Jack to an overdose.
It’s been 5 months since Jack died.
Karen said, “I found jack on the morning of February 28th, I was not aware of the opioids he was taking.”
She says her 21-year-old son took Xanax so he could sleep.
Karen said, “It probably escalated to where he wanted a little more probably each time.”
She says it’s hard because Jack wanted to turn his life around.
She said, “Unfortunately the last time he bought the Xanax he didn’t come back from it.”
9 On Your Side sat down with North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein.
Stein said, “Each one of those numbers is a person, they have children, some of them and jobs and they’re just trying to make it and struggle and they’re sick with this addiction, this chronic illness and its heartbreaking.”
Stein is leading the fight against opioids in our state.
He said, “I absolutely believe we can drive down the number of people who die from an overdose.”
He says it’s going to take time.
Through education — they’re working to make sure young people know about opioids
Stein said, “1 out of 5 11th graders admits to taking someone else’s prescription drugs. It’s crazy.”
The state is working to enforce the law and hold dealers and pharmaceutical companies accountable —-
Stein said, “I am leading a national multi-state investigation with AGs from 40 states, Republicans, and Democrats to hold those companies accountable.”
And with prevention and treatment, Stein says if they can help treat people, it will help cut down on others — including crime.
Stein said, “If we just said yes to the federal government and expanded Medicaid here in North Carolina, more than a half a million people would have health care coverage and a lot of those people have substance abuse or mental health challenges.”
WNCT’s Dillon Huffman asked, “So you would be in favor of, like the governor, expanding Medicaid?”
Stein said, “I thank the governor for fighting hard to make sure more people in NC have access to the health care system. You can’t get treatment to get healthy if you can’t pay for that treatment.”
Karen said, “My son is not going to come back… ever”
She acknowledges the steps that have been taken — but she says more needs to be done.
She’s with a group called the Pitt County Coalition for Substance Abuse — which works to educate and — and like Stein wants to make sure no family loses a loved one to an overdose again.
Attorney General Josh Stein also talked to WNCT about scams.
He said if you have been the victim of a scam, contact his office.