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Drug and Alcohol Abuse in North Carolina
October 27, 2017

Substance Abuse in North Carolina

While the entire country is in a battle against addiction, some parts have been hit harder than others. A number of states, including North Carolina, were listed as having significant increases in drug overdose death rates from 2014-2015.

Inside North Carolina’s Opioid Abuse

A report from 2016 showed 4 North Carolina cities among the top 25 worst cities in the US for opioid abuse. The list included Wilmington in the first spot, along with Hickory, Jacksonville, and Fayetteville. Data shows 1,100 opioid-related deaths in 2015, an increase of 73 percent from 2005. North Carolina is among one of the hardest hit states in the country. Overdoses took the lives of as many as 16 people per 100,000 residents in North Carolina in 2014.

Opioid Deaths in North Carolina

Each of the 100 counties in North Carolina saw overdose death rates rise. According to a 2014 report, opioids killed more people in North Carolina than alcohol, cocaine and heroin combined. This report also showed that overdose death rates were typically higher in places where doctors wrote the most prescriptions for opioid drugs.

Alcohol Abuse in North Carolina

An estimated 501,000 individuals age 12 or older in North Carolina were dependent on or abused alcohol within the year of being surveyed. From 2010 to 2014 approximately 391,000 adults age 21 or older reported heavy use of alcohol.

Today’s Battle Against Addiction

An annual survey of 12-17 year olds known as the National Survey on Drug Use and Health recently found that teens are less likely to abuse alcohol, nicotine, and illicit drugs. The same survey revealed that teens are also less likely to engage in delinquent behaviors.

While the teen population saw a drop of almost 50 percent, opioid problems among adults appear to be increasing. Current efforts appear to be effective among teens when it comes to addiction, but these changes are not reflected among the adult population.

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