This week’s cover story, beginning on page 20, deals with the realities of heroin addiction, which runs rampant in the Triad. Among other indignities, the heroin addict is susceptible to overdose from street drugs that have no benchmark for potency. The drug naloxone is able to reverse a heroin overdose if administered in time; the NC Harm Reduction Coalition keeps stats on overdose reversals, crediting Winston-Salem with 15 of them in the time between Aug. 1, 2013 and Jan. 12, 2015, the lowest number in the Triad. It’s worth noting that Guilford County has about twice as many heroin-overdose deaths as Forsyth, annually.
2. High Point
Forty-seven overdoses were prevented in High Point during this time, an inordinate amount for a city its size. High Point is the heroin capital of the Triad, and maybe even the state. The quality of its heroin is known among users, who will often cross the Triad — and state lines — to procure junk of High Point origin. There’s a pun in here somewhere, as well great tragedy.
The biggest of the Triad cities clocked 66 heroin-overdose reversals using naloxone, the most in the state. Triad cities made up three of the Top 5 in the Harm Reduction Coalition’s figures — Asheville had 40 and Charlotte had 41, and the No. 5 slot after Winston-Salem is Hendersonville, which recorded just seven OD reversals. The lesson here is that people in the Triad do way too much heroin, and that if you’re going to OD, you should probably do it in Guilford County, where the Harm Reduction Coalition is experiencing great success in reaching the addict community.