HOPE MILLS, North Carolina (WTVD) --Authorities raided a Hope Mills home Wednesday and found a 2-year-old child living among needles and drug paraphernalia.
The raid comes as the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office announced a new crackdown on the growing heroin epidemic.
It's a big priority for Sheriff Ennis Wright.
And here's why: Just last year, the Cumberland County Department of Social Services investigated 1,258 families for substance abuse involving children. That's about 100 cases per month.
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For Sheriff Wright, getting drugs off the street is the only way to lower that statistic and keep families together.
"The opioid crisis is tearing apart families across North Carolina," Attorney General Josh Stein said Tuesday at an opioid roundtable, less than 24 hours before the Hope Mills heroin raid.
"We executed two search warrants today a hundred feet apart on two separate residences," said Sgt. Sean Swain of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office. "We recovered a lot of drug paraphernalia and there was a small child there.
"There's hazardous materials that are in the air," Swain added, "and the children are around the smell the syringes, the razor blades and other paraphernalia that go along."
Cumberland County DSS was called in to help.
"It plays on your emotions when you see children that aren't being cared for," said Mary McCoy of Cumberland County DSS.
Cumberland County DSS says it's committed to the fight against opioid addiction with one goal in mind: keeping families together.
"There's parenting education. There's substance abuse treatment. We have qualified substance-abuse education," McCoy said.
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But even with DSS and law-enforcement support, state leaders say there's a long road to recovery.
"It's taken us 15 to 20 years to get into this crisis," Stein said. "It's going to take us hard work to get out of it. But what's encouraging is communities like Fayetteville and Cumberland County who are already working."
On the investigative side, the sheriff's office did not discuss the arrests, though ABC11 learned that four people were questioned.
The sheriff's office did say to expect to see more of these drug busts as part of the crackdown on opioid abuse.
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