Carteret CARES

The opioid epidemic is hurting people, families and communities all over the country. In North Carolina, opioid overdose deaths have doubled in the past ten years. From 2000-2020 more than 28,000 people in North Carolina died from drug overdoses. From 2020-2022, 99 people died from overdoses in Carteret County. The Carteret County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) responded to 388 opioid overdoses in 2020, 380 in 2021 and over 300 opioid overdoses in 2022. Overdose numbers increased in 2020 most likely due to the stress and isolation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The majority of overdoses involving opioids (largely illicitly made fentanyl) and stimulants (such as cocaine and methamphetamine) have increased in recent years. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is now a leading cause of drug overdoses in North Carolina. Fentanyl has no taste or smell, and it can be found in fake pills and powders being sold as different drugs. Fentanyl can lead to overdose within minutes and cause deaths right here in Carteret County.

We want our community to be safe and avoid the risk of drug overdoses. Do not trust pills that are not from a pharmacy. It is impossible to determine the strength of pills provided outside of pharmacies or hospitals, and they may contain fentanyl. Substances may look the same, but fentanyl has changed the drug supply in North Carolina because it is strong, cheap, and easy to transport. Fentanyl is found in pills sold as Xanax, Adderall, OxyContin or others. It might be in powders sold as cocaine, MDMA (ecstasy, molly), and heroin.

The website will serve as a valuable resource hub, offering vital information on overdose prevention, support services, and pathways to recovery for individuals, families, and the community. Together, we can reduce overdose mortality and foster a healthier, safer environment for everyone.