Originally on WWAY (Wilmington)

February 5, 2018

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) –  North Carolina’s Attorney General Josh Stein paid a visit to Wilmington tonight. All in an effort to help address opioid abuse and its affects on people leaving the state prison system.

Stein spoke at LINC’s celebration dinner in downtown Wilmington. LINC stands for Leading Into New Communities works to help prisoners who are released back into society.

Attorney General Josh Stein shared the overwhelming truths about opioid addiction and its contribution to crime across the state.

“About 75 percent of people in jail have a substance use disorder,” Stein said.

A disorder that the folks at LINC try to work with former convicts to kick.

“Support and the community providing forgiveness is the key,” said LINC’s executive director Frankie Roberts.

“There’s only eight or nine local reentry councils,” said Stein referring to the New Hanover County Reentry Council in which LINC was paramount in developing. “We need one in every single county in North Carolina.”

This agency partially the result of an addiction that tore a family a part. It’s a story much like what is still happening state wide.

“I had a brother who struggled with heroin addiction and I wasn’t very forgiving,” said Roberts. “And as a result I never asked him how I could help him. The day I went to apologize, on my way, he died. And this agency was born out of that experience.”

The state released new numbers around the new year showing from 2011 to 2016, more than 74.8 million opioid medications were prescribed in New Hanover County alone. It’s the intent of those who manufactured them that the AG’s office now joins dozens of other Attorney’s General to find out.

“I will not hesitate to hold them accountable if we determine that they violated the law.”