Vance & Adjacent Counties Fentvic Meetup #7 on 11/5/23


Fentvic Meetup #7 for Vance & Adjacent Counties NC (open to the public)

DateSunday, November 5, from 2-4PM
LocationPentecostal Holiness Church
621 US-158 Bypass
Henderson NC 27536

Fentanyl crisis needs everyone’s attention

by Rob Schofield, NC Newsline
October 27, 2023

NC Newsline is part of States Newsroom, a nonprofit news network supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. NC Newsline maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Rob Schofield for questions: Follow NC Newsline on Facebook and Twitter.

Guilford County Sheriff’s Office discuss fentanyl at town hall

GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers held a town hall with several senior staffers Monday night to address concerns about the detention center, crime in the county and staffing concerns in the department.  

Fentanyl took center stage, though.

“That was the day our whole world came crashing down … Since then, it’s been my mission to bring attention and awareness to fentanyl,” said Debbie Peeden, a grandmother who lost her granddaughter to fentanyl poisoning two years ago.  

Continue reading “Guilford County Sheriff’s Office discuss fentanyl at town hall”

NC OCME Reports Updated

Fentvic has recieved updated reports from the North Carolina Office of Chief Medical Examiner (OCME). Latest reports can be found here on the Fentvic website.

There were 266 fentanyl-positive deaths in July 2023 compared to 251 in July 2022. Year to date, there is a 6% increase (2,045) compared to this time last year, January to July 2022 (1,926).

Data Source: NC OCME Toxicology data; NC OCME Toxicology is nationally accredited by the American Board of Forensic Toxicology, Inc. NC OCME Toxicology provides forensic analytical testing of specimens for all 100 counties of the statewide medical examiner system. Toxicology results are based on blood, vitreous fluid, or other specimens used for testing at the discretion of the pathologist and/or toxicologist. For additional information regarding these reports, please contact

A UNC student OD’d on Duke campus, and it took a student journalist to bring the story to light

On March 9, 2023, a freshman from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill overdosed on fentanyl outside a Duke University dorm.

She died in a hospital two days later, surrounded by family and friends, according to her obituary.

Very few people knew about her death, until a Duke student journalist started investigating, learning that 19-year-old Grace Burton wasn’t the only UNC student or alum to recently die from fentanyl poisoning.

She wasn’t even the only one to lose her life to an overdose that week. Now federal agents say the same person supplied the drugs to both students.

Duke student and journalist Charlotte Kramon heard about Burton’s on-campus death and figured more information would come out publicly.

But, she says, “There was no announcement; there were very few people outside of some of those who were close to the situation that knew.”

Kramon started looking into the death and charges related to it, publishing her findings along with co-author Michael Hewlett in the online magazine The Assembly.

Continue reading “A UNC student OD’d on Duke campus, and it took a student journalist to bring the story to light”

UNC student’s family seeks justice for overdose death

The family of a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill freshman student who died after overdosing on fentanyl-laced cocaine on the campus of Duke University is seeking some justice for their daughter.

So far, no one has been charged in the death of Elizabeth Grace Burton, or Gracie as her family called her. She was 19 years old.

Court documents reveal Burton became “unsteady” and “wobbly on her feet” about an hour after meeting with a suspected drug dealer on March 9 outside a Duke student’s dorm. The former Duke student is Patrick Rowland, who pleaded guilty to a drug distribution charge.

An autopsy revealed Burton died two days after investigators said she met up with Rowland after a party and contacted him to buy cocaine.

Continue reading “UNC student’s family seeks justice for overdose death”

The latest college campus freebies? Naloxone and fentanyl test strips

At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, three students stand behind a card table covered in naloxone injection kits. When a curious student leans in and asks what the kits are for, Caroline Clodfelter, one of the co-founders of the student group running the table, explains: “It will reverse an opioid overdose. … So let’s say you’re going out to a frat — stick it in your pocket. It’s easy to just have on you.”

Nearly 600 miles away, at the State University of New York’s Delhi campus, Rebecca Harrington, who works in student affairs, has also been tabling to prevent fentanyl overdoses. Her table, though, is full of colorful cups, a water jug and candies in zip-close bags — tools for her demonstration on how to use a fentanyl test strip. These test strips allow students to see whether a pill has been laced with the deadly synthetic opioid.

Test strips and naloxone are becoming more and more common on college campuses, and at least one health department has recommended they be added to school packing lists. For students who didn’t bring their own, many campuses are handing them out at welcome fairs, orientation events or campus health centers.

As more teens overdose on fentanyl, schools face a drug crisis unlike any other
Fentanyl was involved in the vast majority of teen overdose deaths in 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly a quarter of those deaths involved counterfeit pills that weren’t prescribed by a doctor. And the problem has been following teens onto college campuses.

Students may think they’re taking pills like oxycodone, Xanax or Vicodin. Instead, those pills often have fentanyl in them, resulting in overdoses on campuses across the U.S., from Ohio to Colorado to Oregon. At UNC-Chapel Hill, three students died from fentanyl poisoning in just the last two years.

Continue reading “The latest college campus freebies? Naloxone and fentanyl test strips”

A UNC Student’s Overdose Death at Duke

A Carolina freshman was found unconscious in a Duke University dorm room in March and died two days later of a drug overdose. Neither university said anything publicly about her death until contacted by The Assembly.

by Charlotte Kramon and Michael Hewlett

Paramedics rushed into a residence hall on Duke University’s Kilgo quad at about 6:30 a.m. on March 9 and climbed to the third floor of the old stone building around the corner from Duke Chapel. In room 309, they found a pale, chilled body in a puffy jacket, on her back in a twin bed and glistening in a pool of sweat. 

The young woman was barely breathing, according to the 911 call log and an investigative report. A trash can sat next to the bed.

After almost an hour of treatment for cardiac arrest, an ambulance took Elizabeth Grace Burton, a business student from Charlotte and member of Zeta Tau Alpha at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to the Duke University Hospital. Two days later, she was pronounced dead. Burton was 19.

A state autopsy says she died of cardiac arrest from a toxic mix of cocaine and alcohol. A private autopsy also found fentanyl and GHB, a depressant that can give feelings of euphoria.

Until contacted by The Assembly, Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill said nothing publicly about the death. Duke said it deferred to UNC because Burton was a student there, and UNC said it considers the family’s wishes when deciding to release a statement. 

No one has been charged with Burton’s death. But Burton’s companion that night, former Duke student Patrick Rowland, has pleaded guilty to using a cell phone to facilitate the distribution of cocaine and marijuana. Rowland, 22, is scheduled to appear in federal court on October 18 for a status hearing and will be sentenced in December.

Rowland could face a civil suit from Burton’s family. He is no longer at Duke. Duke officials won’t say whether he was expelled or left voluntarily. 

Continue reading “A UNC Student’s Overdose Death at Duke”

Surge in drug overdoses reported in Greensboro

There have been at least fifteen drug overdoses in Greensboro within a span of two weeks, along with more than a dozen bodies discovered in that timeframe. According to police reports, the victims ranged drastically in age from teenagers to those in their nineties.

One of the victims, who overdosed in late September, overdosed again less than two weeks later. At least one other victim was listed as unhoused at the time of their overdose.

According to the NC Department of Health and Human Services, the rate of medication and drug overdose deaths was 29.6 per 100,000 residents in Guilford County between 2017-21. Statewide, the rate was 27.6 per 100,000 residents. As for opioid overdose deaths, Guilford County had 24.4 deaths per 100,000 residents while the state had 22.7.

More than 4,000 people died from overdoses in 2021, NCDHHS reported, and “more than 77 percent of overdose deaths in the state likely involved fentanyl, often in combination with other substances.”

The number of retail opioid prescriptions dispensed in 2020 was 55.9 prescriptions per 100 residents. Statewide, the rate was 52.8 prescriptions per 100 residents.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of drug overdose deaths nationally increased more than 16 percent from 2020-21, while opioid-involved death rates increased by more than 15 percent over the same time. More than 75 percent of the nearly 107,000 drug overdose deaths in 2021 involved an opioid. In the last decade, there has been a significant increase in overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids, “particularly those involving illicitly manufactured fentanyl,” the CDC states. Fentanyl is a strong synthetic opioid which can be combined with other substances such as heroin, counterfeit pills and cocaine, so people may not even be aware that they are consuming it. The lethal dose of fentanyl is much smaller than other drugs — while the lethal dose of heroin is 100 mg, fentanyl’s is just two.

In August, WRAL reported on rising fentanyl deaths and drug usage in North Carolina. The Nash County Sheriff’s Office recently confiscated “enough fentanyl to kill every person in the county,” the report stated.

Need help?

If you are struggling with drug use, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s helpline is available at 1-800-662-4357 or go to their website. The national helpline is a free and confidential treatment referral and information service for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders. Help is available in English and Spanish 24/7 every day of the year.

An opioid overdose requires immediate medical attention. SAMHSA and Minutes Matter have instructions on how to spot the signs of an opioid overdose and what to do.

Are you or someone else experiencing a mental health emergency? The cities of Winston-Salem and Greensboro have new programs.

If you live in Greensboro and are experiencing a mental health crisis, the city’s behavioral health response team (BHRT) team can help. BHRT is a team of clinical mental-health counselors, licensed clinical social-worker associates, police officers and a paramedic.

If you live in Winston-Salem and are experiencing a mental health crisis, call 911 and ask for the behavioral evaluation and response (BEAR) Team, the city’s police-free mental health response crew.

Opioid overdose reversal (Naloxone/Narcan) resources:

NEXT Distro provides free Naloxone, a medicine that quickly reverses an opioid overdose, and can mail to you.

In Winston-Salem, Narcan is available at the front desk of Forsyth County Department of Public Health located at 799 Highland Ave. Last September, the county installed a free Narcan vending machine inside the Forsyth County Detention Center.

Guilford County Department of Public Health offers free naloxone kits and instructions/training on its use at these locations:

Greensboro Locations:

  • Guilford County Division of Public Health Pharmacy

1100 East Wendover Ave

  • Triad Adult & Pediatric Medicine

1002 S. Eugene St

High Point Locations:

  • Guilford County Division of Public Health Pharmacy

501 East Green Drive

  • Kaitlyn’s House

410 Gatewood Ave

  • Triad Adult & Pediatric Medicine

606 N. Elm

Fentanyl family summit allows loved ones to heal and connect

12 hours ago Connor Doherty

CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Since 2013, over 15,000 North Carolinians have died from fentanyl poisoning, with 886 of those deaths occurring in the Cape Fear.

To spread awareness and help families heal, the Fentanyl Victims Network of North Carolina held its 3rd Family Summit of 2023 in Carolina Beach, with the previous 2 having been held in Raleigh and Boone.

More than a dozen families came out for the summit to learn more about what they can do to continue fighting for their loved ones to receive justice.

Additionally, several parents and siblings shared their stories of what happened to their loved ones.

The network’s executive director Barb Walsh lost her daughter Sophia to fentanyl poisoning after she unintentionally drank a contaminated bottle of water.

Walsh said being able to learn more about fentanyl helped her and will also help the families of it’s victims.

“I went down into a black hole like all these families do and it takes a while and some people never come back out,” Walsh said. “But when I did, I knew that I needed to know more about fentanyl, I needed to learn about the laws and many of these families helped get this law passed.”

Walsh was glad to see so many families come to the summit as Sophia’s death is what drove her to join the Fentanyl Victims Network.

“This is very healing, it’s healing for me to be able to help other families.”

Kami Perez lost her daughter after she took a xanax pill given to her that had more than 13 milligrams of fentanyl in it.

While this was Perez’ first summit, she hopes to be able to help other families when they come to future summits.

“I want to be able to be that voice for her and to others who may also be a victim as well, because they don’t have any voices, they can’t have that voice anymore,” Perez said. “So I’m standing in the gap for them to be that advocate, to be able to bring more attention to, I feel like, is an epidemic.”

North Carolina recently passed Senate Bill 189, which strengthens penalties for individuals found guilty of distributing controlled substances which result in a fatal overdose. Two individuals in the Cape Fear have been charged with death by distribution since the bill was passed.

Read full article and watch the video on the WWAYTV3 website.