Crime

NC attorney general launches social media conversation about opioids

Josh Stein is sworn in as Attorney General during a ceremony on Jan. 6, 2017, at the Executive Mansion in Raleigh.
Josh Stein is sworn in as Attorney General during a ceremony on Jan. 6, 2017, at the Executive Mansion in Raleigh. rwillett@newsobserver.com

Josh Stein, North Carolina’s attorney general, hopes to start a social media conversation each Tuesday about the rising opioid epidemic in the state.

As part of his interest in raising awareness about opioid misuse and addiction, the newly-elected attorney general invites people to use “#opioidsurvivor” on Twitter and Facebook to share personal stories.

Laura Brewer, a spokesperson for the attorney general’s office, said no one knows what to expect from the launch this week. The intent is that social media users will not only offer details of their own struggles with opioid abuse, but also point others toward treatment successes as well as highlight the dangers of misuse and addiction.

Stein’s office timed the first conversation with N.C. Addiction Recovery Day, which is Tuesday.

“Opioid addiction is tearing families apart all across our state,” Stein said in a prepared statement. “Four people die in North Carolina each day from an overdose, while four times that amount are hospitalized and another eight times that amount are taken to emergency rooms. Research has shown that many people view prescription drugs as safer and less addictive, which is an extremely dangerous misconception. My hope is that facilitating this conversation will help raise awareness for the danger of using these drugs and provide hope and support for people trying to recover from addiction.”

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