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Harm Reduction

If you suspect that you or someone with you is experiencing an overdose, call 911 immediately! In North Carolina, if you call 911 in response to you or someone with you experiencing an overdose, you will no longer be prosecuted or have your probation/parole violated for possession of small amounts of drugs, paraphernalia, or underage drinking. 

The North Carolina General Assembly has passed laws to minimize the risk of deaths and other serious health issues associated with substance abuse. The Hyde County Health Department has implemented these programs to reduce the potential harm to citizens battling with substance abuse.

Naloxone Program

Naloxone is a medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose. It is an opioid antagonist—meaning that it binds to opioid receptors and can reverse and block the effects of other opioids. It can very quickly restore normal respiration to a person whose breathing has slowed or stopped as a result of overdosing with heroin or prescription opioid pain medications. 

The Hyde County Health Department will distribute Naloxone to anyone that is at risk or has a friend or family member that is at risk of an opioid overdose. These are provided free of charge and your information will be kept confidential. For more information on Naloxone and signs of an opioid overdose click here

Syringe Exchange Program

The Hyde County Health Department has established a syringe exchange program. The syringe exchange program distributes sterile syringes and encourages the secure disposal of used syringes to reduce sharing, reuse, and public safety risks. Using a sterile syringe for each injection can prevent infections, abscesses and the transmission of hepatitis C and HIV. The program also provides condoms and naloxone. They will also help participants access other medical and social services, including treatment for substance abuse, mental health conditions, and testing for HIV and Hepatitis C. To sign up for the program call or text 252-542-0196. For a printable flyer to post at your establishment click here.

Unused Medication Disposal

Drop boxes for unused medication have been placed at the Sheriff Offices on both the mainland and Ocracoke and are available during business hours. The Sheriff's Department and Health Department also hold drug take back events. A surprising amount of kids and adults get access to drugs by simply raiding the medicine closet. You should keep your prescription medication in a secured location and properly dispose of them when you no longer need them. Keep in mind that flushing them down the toilet is harmful to the environment. Please use the drop boxes or take back events.