Fentanyl Victims Network of North Carolina

  1. EDUCATE & ACTIVATE the public in all 100 NC counties, SUPPORT victims’ families, INVESTIGATE & PROSECUTE fentanyl dealers/suppliers, STOP illicit fentanyl from arriving in NC, CHANGE terminology to POISONING vs OVERDOSE.
  2. Develop NC statewide law enforcement training module & investigation protocol for suspicious deaths involving fentanyl since medicine/drug toxicity deaths occur in all 100 counties.
  3. Investigate all medication/drug toxicity drug deaths as homicides immediately including on-scene, witnesses & cell phones. Do not wait for State/NC OCME toxicology results that take 4-6 months.  By then it is too late to investigate & more have died.
  4. Develop training module for NC District Attorneys to uniformly prosecute fentanyl homicides using existing state law GS 14-18.4 Death by Distribution.   8,002 fentanyl involved deaths occurred in 2020-22 yet NC DAs prosecuted less than 100 cases; 5 of the 42 NC DAs prosecuted ZERO cases.
  5. Fentanyl Awareness Speakers should be permitted in all NC Middle & High Schools to address the dangers of fentanyl.
  6. Naloxone (Narcan) should be in every NC school, currently it is not.

Educate the Public

Fentanyl awareness speakers and curriculum should be in all NC Public High and Middle Schools.  Utilize fentanyl victim families as guest speakers in all 100 counties.  FOCUS ON LOCAL

Support Fentanyl Victim Families

NC Courts Victim Services does not deploy until someone is charged for their loved one’s death, yet investigations and charges seldom occur.  Families must push down their grief to become their own investigator.  This includes hiring attorneys, private detectives, cell phone unlocking services and analysis, etc.  All of this takes money!  Build Fentanyl Victims Network of North Carolina a 100-county grassroots advocacy network and clearinghouse for fentanyl victim families to access common information and resources with links to local existing NC fentanyl victim non-profits and programs.

Naloxone Access for Everyone, Not Just the Few

Think about naloxone as a household fire extinguisher or HS athletic department defibrillator.  Naloxone should be in schools, homes, backpacks and with every 1st responder and law enforcement personnel.  Shift NC Departments of Public Health COVID response teams to Fentanyl response teams by utilizing lessons learned, technology/dashboards, communication lists, etc.

Change the Terminology & Reduce Stigma

Utilize and educate the media just like it’s been done for race, equity, gender, addiction, mental health and who you can love.   It is fentanyl toxicity or poisoning, not overdose.  It is death by deception, not by choice.  No pill is safe unless it’s from a pharmacy.  Experimentation is no longer safe.  Snapchat orders are deadly.  Fentanyl is an epidemic within the Opioid Epidemic.

Utilize COVID Dashboard Tools to Create the Same for Fentanyl Safety and Awareness

Fentanyl death dashboard by zip code would be terrific!  Where and how to get naloxone in every county, etc.  Dashboard accessible to public & law enforcement.  Utilize local NC Departments of Public Health.

Shorten NC OCME Toxicology Result Processing Time

5-8 months is too long for families and law enforcement to learn what killed the victim making it difficult to investigate and prevents local public awareness of fentanyl in their community. Identify bottlenecks, solutions, and funding opportunities.

Create Statewide Sheriff Training Module for Homicide Investigation Protocol of all Medication/Drug Deaths

NC Sheriff’s Association legal counsel says they do not have a statewide protocol.  Currently investigation protocols are left up to individual sheriffs and city police departments.  Tap into Sheriffs who have homicide investigation protocols then utilize them to develop statewide education/training module.

Create NC Conference of DAs Module on Prosecution of Supplier/Dealers in Medication/Drug Homicides

Tap into NC DAs who effectively prosecute these cases then utilize them to develop an education module for NC Conference of DAs.

Amend GS 14-401.11 Distribution of Certain Food or Beverage Prohibited

Under Penalties section for (b) (1) ADD (c) where the actual or possible effect on a person eating or drinking the food, beverage, or other substance was death, shall be punished as a Class B1 Felony.  Victim family members lobby their own NC Rep and Senator

4,992 NC Fentanyl Victim Deaths 2020 & 2021.  Victims in all 100 NC Counties.

Fentanyl victim deaths are recorded as far back as 2014