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By Erin Smith

The Bladen County Opioid Task Force met on Tuesday afternoon to discuss creating a plan to address the opioid epidemic in the county.

The group consisted of elected officials, law enforcement, mental health providers, members of Bladen County Department of Social Services, Bladen Community College officials, Cape Fear Valley-Bladen Healthcare, and the news media.

“It’s important we get some direction,” said Bladen County Board of Commissioners Chairman Charles Ray Peterson.

The session on Tuesday took ideas from the group breakout sessions held last month and began creating an action plan for the county. Items included in the action plan were the creation of a slogan, “Educate to Reduce Opioid Abuse.”

Other items discussed included keeping the opioid issue at the forefront through news articles, public speaking, promoting the location of lock boxes for proper medicine disposal, use of social media to promote awareness, and sending a letter to Bladen County clergy and church leaders.

The group also discussed exploring the potential for obtaining grant funding to pay for the creation of materials with information on accessing mental health and rehab services which can be distributed throughout the county.

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