Radio stations stop the music to combat opioid crisis

FAYETTEVILLE, NC (WTVD) -- Five radio stations across the state are taking a stand against opioid addiction. Beasley Media Group hosted a radio forum with state and city leaders called Fayetteville Fights Back.

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The organization stopped playing music for one hour during their busiest time of day to have a conversation about the crisis.

In a room full of leaders working on the front lines against opioid abuse in healthcare, law enforcement, and city and state government. The radio forum broadcasted throughout 14 counties on five radio stations with an audience of about 900,000 people.

"About a year ago, we were seeing 100 to 125 patients a month overdosing. This year, it's been 200 to 250," said Dr. Michael Zappa with Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.

The age ranges for those patients are between 18 and 25. Attorney General Josh Stein is worked with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to implement a new statewide policy called the Stop Act.

"It sets a limit on how many pills they can prescribe if you break your arm or get your wisdom teeth out. Fewer pills in the medicine cabinet. Fewer people will get addicted," Stein said.

North Carolina has identified four cities as national hot spots for prescription opioid abuse. Fayetteville ranks in the top tier. That's something that's not hard to believe for Capt. Robert Ramirez with the Fayetteville police department.

"Three years ago this day we decided to remove my first born daughter from life support due to an overdose," Ramirez said. "I love her and miss her."
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