Opioid addiction is a problem in Wilkes County, North Carolina. Preventing opioid addiction would slow opioid related deaths and decrease problems such as the number of children in foster care, crime rates, homelessness, and improve mental and physical health. Opioid addiction has been on the rise since around 2007 after pharmaceutical companies began offering lavish incentives to doctors for prescribing opiates. Opioid addiction is devastating families across the nation hence the need for prevention (State of North Carolina, 2017). Prevention efforts must reach children and adults. Addiction does not discriminate and can happen to people of various ages and cultural backgrounds. There is not a lot of diversity in Wilkes County, North Carolina but I want my prevention efforts to reach everyone in the community.
Goal Statement: The goal of this social change project is to make the community in Wilkes County, North Carolina aware of the seriousness of opiate addiction in order to prevent opioid use through the means of education by raising public awareness and knowledge of local resources to prevent use.
Significant Findings: The number of opioid related deaths has increased over the last 10 years in Wilkes County, North Carolina, as well as in the United States (State of North Carolina, 2017). There was a 73% increase in opioid related deaths from 2005 to 2015. This gives rise to concern and the needs for prevention efforts to make the community aware. In 2022 there were 108,000 opioid related deaths reported in the United States and 28,000 North Carolinians lost their lives to drug overdose from 2000-2020 (NC Dept of Health & Human Services, Division of Public Health, 2020). Social Cognitive Theory and Life Skills Training are evidenced based programs that have proven beneficial in creating healthy environments and would work well for promoting prevention effectively.