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Bladen County Substance Misuse Task Force has Challenge for Churches and Pastors

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The Bladen County Substance Misuse Task Force is on a mission to educate the community about the issues substance misuse causes our community. Last night at the Bladen County Board of County Commissioners’ meeting, Dr. Cathy Gantz, Coordinator of the Task Force reported that substance misuse is a rising concern in the area.

Dr. Gantz said, “In 2020, Bladen County EMS responded to 90 overdose calls and administered 102 doses of Naloxone. In August 2021, Bladen County Health and Human Services embarked on the journey of providing Naloxone nasal spray to persons and families suffering from opioid addiction.”

In August, two (2) Naloxone sprays were dispensed, and one (1) was distributed in September.

According to Dr. Gantz, the number of overdose deaths in 2020 was 15, and some causes of death are still pending. In 2021 from January to September 17th, of the 210 deaths in Bladen, 11 were overdose deaths, and 11 are pending.

The task force has a scheduled meeting today, Tuesday, September 21st, at 6: 30 pm. The meeting will be held at Bladen Community College, Building 9, which is the Auditorium.

On the agenda for tonight is a Kloxxado™ (naloxone HCl) nasal spray update from Ms. Leigh Churchborn. Ms. Mary Baggett will give information about Alcohol-related dementia. Dr. Teresa Duncan will explain the 2021 Rural Communities Opioid Response (RCORP) Grant Award. Southeastern Carolina Crossroads members will speak, and there will be a discussion about the Church/Pastor Challenge.

The task force challenges the faith-based community to inform their churches about substance misuse. The task force has volunteers willing to provide a presentation about substance misuse to any church in the area. To schedule a presentation, contact Dr. Gantz at 910-872-6256 or email