Governor Cooper Talks Opioid Crisis As September Is Declared Alcohol & Drug Addiction Recovery Month

Aug 31, 2017

September will be Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery month in North Carolina.  Governor Roy Cooper signed the proclamation designating alcohol and drug addiction recovery month at Vaya Health in Asheville.  The organization helps connect people with health insurance, including for addiction and recovery, something the governor says is crucial in a state where the opioid crisis is growing.  “A lot of people know vaguely of the opioid crisis but they don’t understand the depth of it.  That almost four people a day are dying in North Carolina (from overdoses).  It’s causing significant problems.  Many people are getting familiar with it unfortunately because people they know die or people they know having substance abuse disorder.”

The governor helped assemble Narcan kits at the facility.  Narcan is the brand name for a nasal spray that’s administered to those who’ve overdosed on opioids.  Its use has become the preferred action for first responders who encounter overdoses.  Governor Cooper spoke with a handful of people before the event recovering from opioid addiction who say the spray saved their lives.  "One person had been revived with Narcan four times.  He was on death’s door four times.   But now he has been in recovery for years and has a productive life.”

12-hundred Narcan kits were assembled at Vaya as part of the governor’s visit.  To put that number in perspective, Buncombe County authorities responded to more than 12-hundred overdoses cases alone in the first five months of this year.