HOPE is on the horizon for opioid crisis

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Vivitrol described as ‘true miracle medication’

Tuesday night, Dr. Roger Merrell addresses an audience of approximately 100 people, who were there to help launch HOPE Clinic’s Path to Drug-Free Living, known as NEW BEGINNINGS.

BAYBORO – ‘Hope springs eternal in the human breast!’ Tuesday night, the famous quote from English poet Alexander Pope could not have been more apt.

More than 100 people turned out – many with direct family connections to the opioid crisis. They were there, in the fellowship hall of Bayboro Baptist Church, to help launch HOPE Clinic’s NEW BEGINNINGS – an innovative strategy to combat rampant addiction and overdose deaths.

Though extensive counseling, family involvement, and medical supervision are essential elements, the linchpin of NEW BEGINNINGS is ‘Vivitrol,’ a once-per-month injection, administered by a physician. Sheri Rettew, executive director of HOPE Clinic, described Vivitrol as a “true miracle medication.”


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Vivitrol blocks the ‘high’ that addicts crave, but can only be administered after detox, or if a person has been opioid free for 7 to 10 days

Everyone acknowledges the required effort is both daunting and ambitious.

Pamlico County Sheriff Chris Davis, one of the evening’s first speakers, pointed to his own family.

“I need to leave early tonight,” said Davis. “My family is having dinner tonight for my younger sister, who is leaving tomorrow for a rehab facility. This affects everybody. Rich and poor. Whites and blacks.”

Capt. T.W. Harris, who leads the Pamlico County Rescue Squad, offered stunning data on the growing severity of opioid addiction:

“Last year for all 12 months we had 27 overdose calls,” he said. “This year, thus far, we’ve had 32. When you get a call from a gas station about a 23-year-old girl in the restroom having problems, we know what to expect.”

Rettew credits new Pamlico County residents Dr. Roger Merrell and his wife Sandy, an experienced substance abuse counselor, for their expertise and inspiration.

“With their help, we hope to make Pamlico County a tiny oasis of freedom the this plague,” said Rettew.

Merrell, in his remarks, projected enthusiasm and confidence that NEW BEGINNINGS, if properly implemented, can indeed turn the tide. And, he stressed the opioid crisis “is the worst plague that we will ever see in our lifetimes.”

To view an easy-to-understand, four-page overview of NEW BEGINNINGS, see attachment below:

New Beginnings


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