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North Carolina releases plan to fight opioid abuse

FILE - Opioid Pills, Photo Date: 3/11/2011. Gov. Roy Cooper announced North Carolina's Opioid Action Plan on Tuesday as the state held a summit on how to stop misuse and overdoses of the popular drugs. (Photo credit: frankieleon / Flickr / CC BY 2.0)

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper wants his state to make a drug that can save the lives of people overdosing on painkillers as widely available as possible.

Cooper announced North Carolina's Opioid Action Plan on Tuesday as the state held a summit on how to stop misuse and overdoses of the popular drugs.

Cooper said in a news release that along with making naloxone available, the plan also calls for fewer prescriptions for opioids, fighting the illegal diversion of drugs from people given them by a doctor and expanding drug addiction treatment.

Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mandy Cohen presented the plan to the summit, saying the state has a lot of work to do.

The agency says opioid-related deaths in North Carolina increased 20 percent last year.

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