On October 17, 2017, County Commissioners in both Granville and Vance Counties along with key partners in health and wellness, will host a Community Leadership Forum on Opioid Abuse. The event will bring together local elected leaders and other key partners to discuss ways to address opioid abuse in Granville and Vance Counties. The Forum is open to the public and will take place at the Vance-Granville Community College Civic Center from 2:00pm to 5:00pm. Additional sponsors include: Cardinal Innovations Healthcare, The NC Harm Reduction Coalition, Triangle North Healthcare Foundation, and Vance-Granville Community College.
In recent years, North Carolina has seen a spike in opioid related overdose deaths. According to data provided by the NC Department of Health and Human Services, more than 13,000 North Carolinians have died from unintentional overdose deaths since 1999. Across the United States, accidental death from Opioid overdose now exceeds accidental death from car crashes.
In 2015, Granville Vance Public Health (GVPH) launched Project VIBRANT (Vance Initiates Bringing Resources and Naloxone Training) in partnership with the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition (NCHRC) to address the increase in opioid overdose and death. Since October 2015, more than 140 successful overdose reversals were reported to the NCHRC in Vance and Granville counties, using naloxone kits distributed directly to individuals at risk of experiencing or witnessing an overdose.
Lisa Harrison, Health Director for GVPH and a sponsor of the Community Leadership Forum is encouraged with the success of Project VIBRANT but knows that more work needs to be done. “We hope that this Forum is a first step in educating community leaders and the public about the opioid crisis and what resources are available to family members and their loved ones suffering with addiction. These drugs are inherently risky and many people begin their use of opioids with a prescription from a doctor for a very valid health-related and pain-management reason.”
The Granville Vance County Community Leadership Forum on Opioid Abuse is part of a Presidential Initiative established by the President of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) and Davidson County Commissioner, Fred McClure. NCACC is supporting the effort by providing planning materials and technical assistance to enable each county to hold their own forum. The materials are available online at www.ncacc.org/opioidforum.
About the NCACC: The North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC) is the official voice of all 100 counties on issues being considered by the General Assembly, Congress and federal and state agencies. The Association provides expertise to counties in the areas of advocacy, research, risk management and education and leadership training.