Dare Board of Commissioners declares August Overdose Awareness Month

Published 8:29 am Thursday, August 24, 2023

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Dare County’s Board of Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution  on Aug. 7, 2023 declaring August 2023 Overdose Awareness Month.

In 2022, the Drug Enforcement Administration seized more than 58.3 million pills containing fentanyl and more than 13,000 pounds of fentanyl powder. This equates to nearly 387.9 million potentially deadly doses of fentanyl that never reached communities. So far in 2023, the agency has seized 46.4 million pills and 6,900 pounds of powder fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is approximately 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. It is inexpensive, widely available, highly addictive and comes in a variety of colors, shapes and forms, states the DEA.

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“Spreading awareness about the dangers and deadly realities of fentanyl is critically important in this fight to save lives,” said DEA administrator Anne Milgram. “Fentanyl remains the most dangerous drug threat facing our country.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 110,511 people in the United States died of drug overdoses and poisonings in 2022, with almost 70 percent of those deaths involving synthetic opioids like fentanyl. Only two milligrams of fentanyl is considered a potentially lethal dose.

Fentanyl and opioids are on the minds of at least 1,162 Americans who took part in a survey of adults 18 years or older. From Aug. 11-14, 2023, those Americans responded to the query: what is the current greatest threat to U.S. public health.

The top four threats are 80% of the responses:

Opioids/fentanyl: 26%

Obesity: 23%

Gun/firearm access: 20%

Cancer: 11%

Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Poll was conducted by Ipsos’ KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,162 general population adults age 18 or older. The margin of sampling error is ±3.0 percentage points at the 95% confidence level, for results based on the entire sample of adults.

Other threats were unsafe roads or driving; smoking/tobacco products; COVID-19; and alcohol abuse.

The Dare resolution calls on “people of Dare County to observe this month by helping our families, friends, neighbors, co-workers and leaders better understand the importance of Overdose Awareness.”

On another note, the Walter B. Jones Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Center in Greenville, has been recognized as one of the Best Addiction Treatment Centers in American for 2023 in Newsweek’s annual rankings.

The Walter B. Jones center provides inpatient and outpatient services including medical detox, psychiatric stabilization, substance use disorder and mental health treatment, and uses best practices such as motivational interviewing, trauma informed care and seeking safety. Perinatal services are also available for women at all stages of pregnancy, from all 100 counties, who are in need of specialized inpatient treatment

The media release announcing the top ranking states “about 1.2 million people in North Carolina have a substance use disorder …”