Fayetteville city leaders tackle the problem of opioid abuse

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Fayetteville leaders are working to help people that abuse pain medication.

This past April, Fayetteville was ranked 18th in the nation for opioid abuse.

Related coverage: 4 NC towns in top 20 nationally for opioid abuse, study finds

A press conference was held earlier Tuesday on the issue.

Fayetteville’s Opioid Abuse & Awareness Task Force was created this past May. The group includes city and county leaders as well as various healthcare and military officials.

At Tuesday’s press conference, the group says they’ve worked tirelessly to understand and address Fayetteville’s long list of opioid abusers.

A study found 46 percent of opioid prescriptions are abused in Fayetteville. Pain killers are first on the list.

Leaders say they discovered many issues in Fayetteville including a lack of education on medication safety.

Also, although resources for drug abusers are available, at times, leaders say it’s hard to connect patients with providers.

Moving toward a solution, in the next year an $8 million mental health treatment facility will be built in Fayetteville.

Also, a recovery center for screening, assessments and referrals will open.

The Task Force will also launch a substance abuse hotline for people to access 24/7. That hotline number will be released later this month.

Related coverage: 4 NC towns in top 20 nationally for opioid abuse, study finds

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