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Opioid abuse in Bladen County

BladenOnline.com Roundtable Discussion on Opioid abuse in Bladen continues with an Interview with Bladen County Sheriff’s Department’s Detective, Richard Allen.

Our staff sat down with Detective Allen to talk about the opioid problem in the county. He said about 75 percent of the drug arrests involve pills of some type. He said the most common pills they find are Percocets, Loracets and Opanas.

Allen explained those who abuse prescription drugs eventually begin to transition to other drugs. In Brunswick County and Wilmington, they tend to transition to Heroin according to the Detective.

In Bladen County, they are transitioning to Crack Cocaine, said Allen. Sometimes, the transition is driven by cost. Opanas can cost about $30 compared to Heroin that can cost from $10 to $15 according to Allen.

Arresting someone for selling their medication requires hours of diligent detective work in order to build a strong enough case to make an arrest. It can become a complicated process. Allen said when the Narcotics Division is investigating an incident of someone selling pills, arresting them often times is difficult.

Both Bladen County Sheriff Jim McVicker and Detective Allen said the issue of Opioid abuse has increased in the county steadily in recent years. 

When asked what he believed to be the reason for the increase in addiction to pills namely Opioids, Allen replied, “The doctors.”  He explained, it is relatively easy for someone to go to a doctor complaining of back pain and receive a prescription for pain medication. 

Sheriff McVicker said the issue of Opioid abuse is an issue he and his staff are very aware of and are trying their best to gain an upper hand on the issue.

“It impacts everyone in the county,” said Sheriff McVicker. He said his staff often helps the addicts they come in contact with by assisting them in finding and obtaining treatment. 

Substance abuse doesn’t just affect the addict and their families. Sheriff McVicker said that about 85 percent of the property crimes are related to drug use. 

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