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Attorney General Josh Stein Announces More Powerful NC Memorial to Honor the Lives Lost to Addiction or Overdose

For Immediate Release:
Thursday, August 29, 2019

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today launched the More Powerful NC Memorial to honor North Carolinians who lost their lives to addiction or overdose, in advance of International Overdose Awareness Day on Saturday, Aug. 31. The Memorial can be viewed here and serves as a remembrance of lives lost and a testament to the value of sharing their stories. People who wish to share their loved ones’ stories are encouraged to submit a memorial here.

“The opioid epidemic continues to take lives across our state—five people a day on average—and leaves a trail of grieving people in its wake,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I’m grateful for all of the friends and family I’ve met who have shared the memories of their loved ones with me, and now, with all of us. On this International Overdose Awareness Day, we must honor these North Carolinians by recommitting ourselves to confronting this crisis in our communities and eradicating the stigma around addiction. And we must help those who are struggling with addiction, because there is hope in recovery.”

“The Memorial Page on the More Powerful NC website will serve as much more than the extremely important remembrance of our loved ones,” said Randy Abbott, whose daughter Vanessa died of an overdose in 2015. “If we are going to bring an end to this epidemic that is stealing a generation, we have to start by ending the stigma that unfortunately still exists. We have to understand and help others understand that these disorders know no economic, social, or racial boundaries. What better way to honor our loved ones than using the power of their stories, of our families’ stories, as we work toward the goal of ending an epidemic and saving lives.”

Gov. Roy Cooper announced today that for the first time in five years, the number of unintentional opioid-related overdose deaths among North Carolina residents has decreased. In 2018, deaths decreased by five percent from 2017, and are consistent with a decrease in the number of emergency visits for opioid-related overdoses.

“I’m encouraged by today’s news that the number of unintentional opioid-related overdose deaths is falling,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “North Carolinians across the state have been relentless in fighting this epidemic – through community responses, through laws including the STOP Act and the HOPE Act, through the state’s Opioid Action Plan. We’re making progress and saving lives, and I’m committed to continuing to doing my part alongside all of you to confront this crisis.”

About More Powerful NC

More Powerful NC is a bipartisan, public private partnership led by Attorney General Josh Stein and the Department of Justice, Secretary Mandy Cohen and the Department of Health and Human Services, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, Atrium Health, UNC Health Care, LabCorp, AT&T, Cardinal Innovations Healthcare, the Carolina Hurricanes, the Governor’s Institute, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, and the North Carolina Department of Insurance to confront the opioid epidemic by empowering people to fight against addiction in their communities. Dozens of other organizations, including the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy, North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police, the North Carolina Healthcare Association, the North Carolina League of Municipalities, the North Carolina Sheriffs’ Association, the North Carolina Chamber, the North Carolina Bankers Association, the North Carolina High School Athletics Association, Addiction Professionals of North Carolina, and the Alcohol and Drug Council of North Carolina, among others, have signed on as partners in support of the campaign. Visit www.MorePowerfulNC.org to learn more.

Contact:
Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484

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