Published: March 2, 2017, 6:50 pm | Updated: March 2, 2017, 11:19 pm
GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Federal and state lawmakers are taking measures to stop the drug problem in the U.S.
The issue might seem overwhelming to solve for many but some in the East say they have ideas to solve it.
For some, finding out how drugs are getting into the hands of users could be the answer.
Pitt County Coalition on Substance Abuse director Elizabeth Montgomery Lee says addicts aren’t necessarily getting them illegally.
“It could be that they are getting them from doctors,” said Lee. “They might have legitimate athletic injury and are prescribed pills for the pain. They then take those and become addicted to them.”
Lee thinks over-prescribing medication could also be a contributing factor.
“When just for a medical problem, maybe they have a bad back, some physicians give out way too many pills,” Lee explained. “I’m not a doctor but just as a layperson. I would have to ask the doctor why are you giving me ninety?”
While Lee said stopping the flow of drugs is key, providing services to cure those already addicted plays a vital role in the process.
Natasha Holley is the clinical director for Integrated Family Services and said her team has a plan in place to help.
“Not only are we working to de-escalate the crisis but then we’re linking them and making sure we’re following up,” said Holley.
Holley feels addicts often feel isolated and are uncomfortable seeking help.
“A lot of time people internalize issues thinking that they have to, they are afraid of what people might think of them or being judged,” said Holley.
To stop the cycle, both women agree it’s time for action.
“It is so important that as a community we work together to try to figure out way, strategies, how we can partner to address the epidemic,” said Holley.
Both advocates said doctors are not solely to blame. The women said everyone takes on responsibility in fixing the problem.