North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein led the first of four collegiate council meetings within the UNC system to work with students on combating opioid addiction on college campuses on Oct. 16.
The meeting, held at Appalachian State University, included representatives from ASU, Western Carolina University, UNC-Asheville, East Carolina University, N.C. State, UNC-Greensboro, UNC-Pembroke and UNC-Chapel Hill. Stein hopes that through the council's creativity and energy, it can help develop programs for initiatives that can serve to reduce illicit drug use by college students.
Dean Blackburn, director of student wellness at UNC Campus Health, said Stein is using an investigatory approach to get a sense of students' perspectives and insights.
“From my understanding, Attorney General Stein will take the feedback he gets from students from this council and combine it with the evidence-based approaches that we have seen from around the nation to try to institute some prevention, early intervention and recovery supports around the issue of opioid addiction,” he said.
Eliza Filene, a UNC-CH senior public policy major who attended the meeting, said her biggest takeaway was how culture and addiction are inextricably linked.