NC's attorney general has 4 ideas to stem epidemic of opioid addiction

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- North Carolina's new Attorney General, Josh Stein, tells the ABC11 I-Team, curbing opioid addiction is one of his top priorities.

"Opioid addiction and opioid overdoses are a crisis here North Carolina," Stein said. "More people are dying today in North Carolina of opioid overdoses than car crashes."

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Stein wants to tackle the problem in a new way, preventing the problem where it often starts -- the doctor's office.

"It's really up to doctors and dentists to ask themselves: 'If I'm taking out someone's wisdom teeth, do I really need to write a prescription with 30 or 60 pills?' " Stein said. "That's where the culture change needs to happen with the prescriber community."

Stein also wants pharmaceutical wholesalers to examine data showing how many pills are being prescribed in specific communities.

"That is something that our office will be looking at, is to make sure that the wholesalers are not turning a blind eye to data," he said. "That would be relevant to helping law enforcement."


Stein said he believes when people become addicted, there aren't enough places to get help.

"There is simply not enough treatment facilities operations to handle all the people that are addicted," Stein said. "We need to help those people who are ill, get well. Because when they're well, then they're happy, productive members of society."

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