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50-59-year-olds are the biggest opioid users-7 times more likely to be addicted than people in their early 20s.

St. Louis, Baltimore, and Detroit have couple things in common; one being that the three cities top the charts in murder rate for the country, and the other being that they all have a lower rate of opioid abuse than Jacksonville, NC. Opioids, a term physically used to distinguish prescription drugs from the older term “opiates”, a group of drugs originally derived from opium poppies, includes numerous synthetic and partly synthetic drugs such as fentanyl, oxycodone, Vicodin, codeine, morphine, heroin, and many others. The drugs interact with receptors in the brain and reduce pain and provide euphoria, but the drugs are wickedly addictive, sometimes resulting in measurable signs of dependence after only three days.

Opioid abuse often starts innocently with nothing more than a trip to the doctor. Neck pain, back pain, or even dental surgery can result in an opioid prescription strong enough, and long enough, to brood addiction. North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services maintains an online database that doctors can use to identify problem patients: those filling prescriptions at multiple doctor offices. These patients often called “doctor shoppers”, are getting excess prescriptions to abuse themselves or sell on the street. Shockingly, and despite doctors putting more than 11 million pills in Onslow County streets in 2015 and 2016, use of this database remains low and is totally voluntary. By the time a doctor catches on to a patient’s abuse, the user is hooked and has only one way to turn-heroin.

Regular readers can see the increase drug busts and related crimes and it’s not hard to not a bit of an uptick in activity. Sheriff Hans Miller has recently reported a 69% increase in drug investigations stretched from 2014 through the present, claiming that as an indicator of his successful term. But has the increase in investigations kept pace with the rapidly expanding epidemic, or is the Sheriff’s cart in front of his horse?

A 2016 study (based on 2015 data) placed Jacksonville, NC at a number (12) in the nation for opioid abuse and there’s a little sign of improvement since. The numbers from the state back that up. According to NC Department of Health and Human Services, 15 Onslow County residents died from opioid overdoses in 2015.

The following year, 2016, that number skyrocketed to 35 county resident deaths-a shocking 133% increase and the highest in the county’s history. While the numbers for 2017 fatalities have not yet been released, Onslow County isn’t looking good so far. The county reportedly dispensed Narcan-a drug intended to stop opioid effects and prevent related deaths-374 times in 2017 alone. That means there were at least 374 potentially fatal overdoses in Onslow County this past year, a rate of more than one per day.

Between staggering Opioid numbers and record-setting numbers of meth labs, Onslow County leads the state in drug abuse and has turned into cesspool illicit activities. Jacksonville-and more so the surrounding rural areas-have become a place junkies and dealers are safe to call home.

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Onslow County Schools under-fire by NAACP after refusing to address racial slurs at Richlands High School

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Onslow County Schools are refusing to take action against a racial slur, which now has the NAACP involved.

Pender High School boys basketball team was visiting Richlands Monday, Feb. 12. when they discovered a racial slur painted in the visiting team’s locker room. A hopeful investigation is underway at Richlands High School into the racial slur being painted in the locker room. Onslow County Schools have yet to release a statement to the public regarding the racial slur, despite this incident being the third racial incident at Richlands High School.

Pender High School basketball coach Craig Wilson took to social media to express his concerns and frustration about the incident.

Wilson’s previous post read:

Million things going through my mind right now. We lost out tonight in conference tournament. I can live with that. We didn’t play well. But here’s what I can’t live with. On Saturday we played at Richlands high school. One of our kids on jv got into a fight on the court because a kid from Richlands called him a nigger and all hell broke loose. Tonight we get to the gym and they have us in the same locker room that we were in on Saturday. Written on the locker plain as day is NIGGER… I get the AD and he simply says let me get something and clean it off. Sorry, I didn’t know it was there. We also learn that this same high school got into a fight with our varsity football team for calling one of our players, yep you guessed it, a nigger… this is three racial slurs involving the same school.

Reverend Dante Murphy, President of The Pender County NAACP branch, said ” It is my sincere hope that the NCHSAA, the involved school systems, and other entities involved divert from the strong indicators of minimizing and covering up this issue and work transparently with the public.”

Murphy said in a Facebook post, that the Pender County NAACP  “initiated a formal request to the NCHSAA that school officials at Richlands High School be investigated for the unacknowledged acts of racial hatred involving Richlands High School during sporting events. We are asking local NAACP branches, elected officials, and citizens across this state to join us in resolving these acts of evils.”

This recent incident makes the third time a racial slur has been used or published during Richlands High School sporting events, that Onslow County Schools and Richlands High School has refused to respond to the pattern of behavior.

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Calls for gun control grow louder after Florida shooting

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PARKLAND, Fla. (AP) – Pressure is growing for tougher gun-control laws after a Florida high school shooting that killed 17 people.

Thousands of angry protesters in Fort Lauderdale and St. Petersburg gathered Saturday to demand immediate action by legislators. More demonstrations are planned across the country in the weeks ahead.

Organizers are calling for a 17-minute walkout by teachers and students on March 14. The Network for Public Education announced a day of walkouts, sit-ins and other events on school campuses on April 20. The date is the anniversary of the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado that left 12 students and one teacher dead.

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Quick Facebook post report gets teen mental help, not arrest

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ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina say they were able to get mental help for a student who threatened to bring a BB gun to a high school so a police officer would kill him.

Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Detective E. W. Muse Jr. says the teen posted on Facebook earlier this month he wanted the officer at SouthWest Edgecombe High School to kill him.

Muse says the teen said he didn’t want to hurt students or teachers, so he was ordered to a hospital to get mental treatment and suspended from school for the rest of the year.

Muse told the Rocky Mount Telegram that the incident shows why it is so important for students and others to report any threats or strange behavior.

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Information from: Rocky Mount Telegram, http://www.rockymounttelegram.com

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