Gov. Cooper set to attend first opioid panel meeting at the White House today

(WNCN)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — North Carolina is one of several states across the country dealing with a growing opioid crisis.

State officials say abuse and overdose numbers are on the rise. Today, Gov. Cooper is heading to the nation’s capital to meet with a commission meant to tackle the issue head-on.

Tackling drug abuse – specifically opioids – is one of Cooper’s missions while in office.

Recently, he and North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein announced a $31 million grant to help people fight their addiction. The grant came after President Donald Trump appointed the governor to a panel to tackle the nation’s opioid issue.

That group will meet for the first time today at the White House.

Gov. Cooper said the focus will be on transitioning from an enforcement model to a treatment model.

“As a practical matter, we don’t do enough to help people get out of what they were already doing because they face so many barriers when they get out of prison,” Cooper said earlier this month while visiting the North Carolina State Crime Commission. “People will have problems with a suspended driver’s license because they didn’t show up for court because they were in jail.”

The meeting is at 12:30 p.m. today.

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