North Carolina (Drug Information)
North Carolina will embrace you with its magnificent mountains and hills, its many splendid lakes and rivers, waterfalls, and a very pleasing climate. From the majestic beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge Parkway to the seashore and the delicate islands of the Outer Banks, this state has plenty to offer. With her gentle winters and pleasant summers, North Carolina is not only a wonderful place to live, but a most alluring place to visit over and over again. It is hard to imagine that such a charming state would have such an alarming drug abuse problem.
Here are some disturbing facts about North Carolina:
Many folks think of drug abuse or overdose as cocaine, heroin, or marijuana, but like so many other states, in North Carolina, physician-prescribed painkillers have become one of the more fatal addictions. Over the past decade, prescription drug overdoses have tripled and have become the nation’s frontrunner in accidental deaths, outpacing automobile crashes. Popular painkillers, such as Vicodin, Oxycontin, and Methadone contributed greatly to the number of drug-overdose fatalities, making them more deadly than cocaine and heroin combined. Even with its database that permits medical professionals to share prescription information to prevent doctor shopping, not all physicians implement this process, thereby accounting for inaccurate records.
North Carolina has a law that requires a photo ID of anyone picking up a narcotic drug from a pharmacy. In turn, the pharmacies are required to keep those records for three years; unfortunately, those pharmacies are not required to enter the information into the database.
Drug Trends, Predictions and Explanations
Illegal and prescription drugs can be discovered anywhere in North Carolina, not only in the inner cities and suburbs, but also in the universities and on the farms. North Carolina has been facing a larger drug abuse problem than most other states. The inpouring of migrant workers into the countryside, who often double as smugglers, has only recently become enough of a statewide problem for the authorities to address. With a major airport and a vast network of intertwined highways in North Carolina, it has become relatively easy for domestic and foreign drug-trafficking establishments to ship in and out of the state. This progressive drug-trading trend is not going away anytime soon.
Drug Abuse Statistics
The most recent survey revealed 7.75 percent of the residents of North Carolina using illicit drugs in the past month, while the nationwide average was 8.02 percent. It reportedly has the 30th highest drug overdose mortality rate in the nation, with 11.4 per 100,000 folks suffering drug overdose deaths. The number of drug abuse fatalities — mostly from prescription drugs — has doubled in North Carolina since 1999.
According to most recent reports, among adolescents, approximately 78,000 (11.0 percent) used an illicit drug in North Carolina in the past month; 53,000 (7.4 percent) used marijuana, and 41,000 (5.7 percent) used an illegal drug other than marijuana. In the past 12 months, 28,000 adolescent males and 24,000 females used pain relievers for recreational use. During the past year, 31,000 adolescents (14,000 males and 17,000 females) needed treatment, however, as is the case so often, were reluctant to receive any.
Unlike illegal drugs on the street, prescription drugs so often appear as safe, even those outside a doctor’s care. Fortunately, North Carolina is home to numerous state-of-the-art treatment centers for drug abuse. So, whether one is searching for luxury, private or other types of treatment facilities, he or she will be accommodated.