Public Notice

Public Notice

UPDATE – Stage 1 – Water Conservation Alert – UPDATE

UPDATE – Stage 1 – Water Conservation Alert – UPDATE

Bolivia, NC – A Stage 1 Water Conservation Alert remains in effect. Based on the ongoing hot weather that tends to elevate water demand, this Water Conservation Alert will remain in effect through the month of July and into August when it will be re-evaluated.

Please continue to use water wisely; your water conservation is having a positive impact.

Residents who have questions should contact their water service provider directly or Brunswick County Public Utilities at 910-253-2657. Additional information can be found at <>.

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Bolivia, NC – A Stage 1 Water Conservation Alert remains in effect.

All customers of a public water system anywhere in Brunswick County are affected by Water Conservation Alerts. Brunswick County Public Utilities provides water service in unincorporated portions of Brunswick County as well as the following communities: Boiling Spring Lakes, Bolivia, Calabash, Carolina Shores, Caswell Beach, Sandy Creek, St. James, Sunset Beach, and Varnamtown. Customers of other utilities such as Bald Head Island, Brunswick Regional – H2GO (Belville), Holden Beach, Leland, Navassa, Northwest, Oak Island, Ocean Isle Beach, Shallotte, and Southport are under the same restrictions since these utilities receive their water from Brunswick County Public Utilities.

Under a Stage 1 Water Alert, water system customers are requested to make voluntary adjustments to their water usage habits to appreciably reduce peak demands. (A peak demand of 80% of system production and distribution capacity being targeted). Irrigation demands represent the bulk of non-essential water use, so a primary way that customers may reduce water usage is to limit irrigation. A unified application of voluntary water reductions by all water system users in Brunswick County may help to avoid mandatory water restrictions in the event drought conditions do not lessen.

Specific ways to reduce water usage are as follows:

  1. Use the following recommended irrigation schedule to even out system demands:
  2. Odd address numbers – Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday
    b. Even address numbers – Wednesday/Friday/Sunday
    c. No irrigation on Mondays
  3. Defer all non-essential water use to outside the peak demand hours of 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m; preferably after nightfall.
    3. Don’t overwater your yard. One inch of water per week in the summer will keep most types of grass healthy. To determine how long you need to run your sprinkler to provide 1” of water, place straight edged cans at different distances from your sprinkler and time how long it takes to fill an average of 1” of water in each can. Water occasionally, but deeply to encourage deeper rooting that makes grass more drought/heat tolerant.
    4. Install rain shut-off devices on automatic sprinkler systems.
    5. Don’t water pavement and impervious surfaces.
    6. Limit lawn watering to that necessary for plant survival. Water lawns outside of the peak demand hours of 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m; preferably after nightfall.
    7. Water shrubbery the minimum required. Water shrubbery outside of the peak demand hours of 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Use drip irrigation systems in shrubbery beds and around trees to prevent water loss through evaporation.
    8. Use abundant mulch around trees and shrubs to retain moisture.
    9. Plant drought-tolerant grasses, trees, and plants.
    10. Adjust mower height to a higher setting to retain moisture.
    11. Limit the use of clothes washers and dishwashers and when used, operate fully loaded. Operate dishwashers outside of the peak demand hours of 5:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m; preferably after nightfall.
    12. Limit vehicle washing to a minimum. Use commercial car washes that recycle water.
    13. Use shower for bathing rather than bathtub and limit shower to no more than five (5) minutes.
    14. Inspect and repair all faulty and defective parts of faucets and toilets. Pay attention to dripping sounds.
    15. Do not leave faucets running while shaving, brushing teeth, rinsing or preparing food.
    16. Do not wash down outside areas such as sidewalks, driveways, patios, etc.
    17. Install water-saving showerheads and other water conservation devices.
    18. Install water-saving devices in toilets such as early closing flappers.
    19. Limit hours of water-cooled air conditioners.
    20. Keep drinking water in a container in the refrigerator instead of running water from a faucet until it is cool.
    21. Do not fill new (or empty) swimming or wading pools. Top off existing swimming pools from dusk until dawn.
    22. Cover pool and spas when not in use to prevent evaporation.
    23. Use disposable and biodegradable dishes where possible.

Please note that this Stage 1 Water Conservation Alert does not affect the use of private groundwater wells or those using highly treated reclaimed wastewater. (St. James, Winding River, Sea Trail, and Sandpiper Bay golf courses use reclaimed water. Other golf courses use wells and ponds for irrigation.) Also, this is not a water quality advisory; this is a water conservation advisory. There is no need to boil water for potable use unless you receive a Low Pressure Advisory notice for your specific area due to other conditions in the water distribution system.

Residents will be notified if any other conservation measures are needed and when conditions dictate that restrictions are no longer required. Residents who have questions should contact their water service provider directly or Brunswick County Public Utilities at 910-253-2657. Additional information can be found at <>

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Opioid Education

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Opioid Addiction

Opioid overdose is a public health crisis in the United States and in the state of North Carolina.  Accidental deaths continue to rise among those who use, misuse, or abuse illicit and prescription opioids.  On June 29, 2017, Governor Roy Cooper signed the Strengthen Opioid Misuse Prevention (STOP) Act of 2017 into law.  The STOP Act focuses on smarter prescribing, smarter dispensing, and a renewed commitment to treatment, recovery, and saving lives.  To further combat the opioid crisis, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services and its partners are working to reduce opioid overdose deaths by implementing the strategies in North Carolina’s Opioid Action Plan.


The Truth About Opioids is a comprehensive public education campaign focused on preventing and reducing misuse of opioids among youth and young adults.  These videos portray first-person, true stories of young Americans with an opioid use disorder.  Some viewers may find this footage disturbing.

Opioid Information

What are Opioids?

Opioids include illegal drugs such as heroin, as well as prescription medications used to treat pain such as morphine, codeine, methadone, oxycodone (OxyContin®, Percodan®, Percocet®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®, Lortab®, Norco®), fentanyl (Duragesic®, Fentora®), hydromorphone (Dilaudid®, Exalgo®), and buprenorphine (Subutex®, Suboxone®).  Opioids work by binding to specific receptors in the brain, spinal cord and gastrointestinal tract.  In doing so, they minimize the body’s perception of pain.  However, stimulating the opioid receptors or “reward centers” in the brain can also trigger other systems of the body, such as those responsible for regulating mood, breathing and blood pressure.

How Does Overdose Occur?

A variety of effects can occur after a person takes opioids, ranging from pleasure to nausea, vomiting, severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) and overdose, in which breathing and heartbeat slow or even stop.  Opioid overdose can occur when a patient deliberately misuses a prescription opioid or an illicit drug such as heroin.  It can also occur when a patient takes an opioid as directed, but the prescriber miscalculated the opioid dose or an error was made by the dispensing pharmacist, or the patient misunderstood the directions for use.  Also at risk is the person who takes opioid medications prescribed for someone else, as is the individual who combines opioids – prescribed or illicit – with alcohol, certain other medications, and even some over-the-counter products that depress breathing, heart rate, and other functions of the central nervous system.

Who is at Risk?

Anyone who uses opioids for long-term management of chronic cancer or non-cancer pain is at risk for opioid overdose, as are persons who use heroin.  Others at risk include persons who are:

  • Receiving rotating opioid medication regimens (and thus are at risk for incomplete cross-tolerance).
  • Discharged from emergency medical care following opioid intoxication or poisoning.
  • At risk for overdose because of a legitimate medical need for analgesia, coupled with a suspected or confirmed history of substance abuse, dependence, or non-medical use of prescription or illicit opioids.
  • Completing mandatory opioid detoxification or abstinent for a period of time (and presumably with reduced opioid tolerance and high risk of relapse to opioid use).
  • Recently released from incarceration and a past user or abuser of opioids (and presumably with reduced opioid tolerance and high risk of relapse to opioid use).

Tolerance develops when someone uses an opioid drug regularly, so that their body becomes accustomed to the drug and needs a larger or more frequent dose to continue to experience the same effect.  Loss of tolerance occurs when someone stops taking an opioid after long-term use.  When someone loses tolerance and then takes the opioid drug again, they can experience serious adverse effects, including overdose, even if they take an amount that caused them no problem in the past.

Source: Brunswick County Opioid Addiction Task Force. (2017). Facts For Community Members.

Treatment For Opioid Addiction

Opioid addiction is a treatable condition – treatment comes in a variety of forms.


“Detox” programs wean drug users from their immediate physical dependence on drugs.  Individuals should be under close medical supervision during this process.  Medical assistance can be provided to lessen the physical impacts of withdrawal.  Detox is not a treatment program per se, but rather is an essential first step to treatment.  Detox without long-term treatment often leads to relapse and return to opioid use.

Outpatient Treatment

These programs serve about half of all those in treatment.  It is the least restrictive form of treatment and often works well for people who are employed and who have stable social and family environments.  Services include drug education, group counseling, intensive day treatment, and self-help or 12-step groups.

Residential Treatment

This approach can involve either short-term intensive treatment or a longer-term program.  Long-term treatment models use a variety of therapeutic approaches.  Residential treatment programs usually include self-help group meetings.  This treatment can be expensive and insurance coverage varies from provider to provider.

Therapeutic Communities (TC)

Patients generally spend 6-18 months in these highly structured, peer-based residential treatment programs.  They are designed to help patients alter, modify, and re-learn behaviors through intensive educational, medical, legal, social, and psychological counseling services.  TCs have been successfully adapted to meet the needs of adolescents, women, those with severe mental health problems, and prisoners in the criminal justice system.  Sometimes called “sober living” environments, this form of treatment may require regular drug testing and strict adherence to residential living rules and conditions.

Complementary Counseling/Education/Support Strategies

Psychosocial treatments, including self-help groups, as well as professionally led groups focusing on cognitive behavioral therapy, vocational rehabilitation, and other strategies, are not formal substance abuse treatment.  However, they provide essential emotional and personal support and opportunities to develop skills that help individuals in their day-to-day recovery.

12-Step Programs

These programs, including Narcotics Anonymous (NA) and Cocaine Anonymous (CA), are built on the Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) model.  This approach provides an opportunity for men and women to share the experience, strength, and hope gained from their efforts to recover from addiction.  The clear goal is abstinence; any use of drugs or alcohol is viewed as unacceptable.

Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT)

MAT is the use of medications, in combination with counseling and behavioral therapies, to provide a whole-patient approach to the treatment of substance use disorders.  Research shows that when treating substance use disorders, a combination of medication and behavioral therapies is most successful.  MAT is clinically driven with a focus on individualized patient care.

If a person is addicted, medication allows him or her to regain a normal state of mind, free of drug-induced highs and lows.  It frees the person from thinking about the drug all the time.  It can reduce problems of withdrawal and craving.  These changes can give the person the chance to focus on the lifestyle changes that lead back to healthy living.

Taking medication for opioid addiction is like taking medication to control heart disease or diabetes.  It is NOT the same as substituting one addictive drug for another.  Used properly, the medication does NOT create a new addiction.  It helps people manage their addiction so that the benefits of recovery can be maintained.

What are the Medications Available to Treat Opioid Addiction?

The most common medications approved by federal authorities and used in treatment of opioid addiction are methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone.  Cost varies for the different medications.  This may need to be taken into account when considering treatment options.

These medications trick the brain into thinking it is still getting the problem opioid.  The person taking the medication feels normal, not high, and withdrawal does not occur.  Methadone and buprenorphine also reduce cravings.

Where Can I Go for More Information on MAT Treatment?

These medications are carefully controlled substances and physicians are regulated in their administration.  Not all physicians are authorized to treat patients.

The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has created a physician and treatment locator for buprenorphine to assist in finding available treatment.  The buprenorphine locator can be found at the following web address:

Other Resources

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Treat Opioid Use Disorder

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Treatment Locator

Brunswick County Medication and Drug Overdose Data

NC Opioid Action Plan Data Dashboard

Click on the table below for the most recent provisional data.



Brunswick County resident unintentional opioid overdose deaths in 2017


Brunswick County resident opioid overdose ED visits in 2017


Opioid pills dispensed to Brunswick County residents in 2017


Reported community naloxone reversals in Brunswick County in 2017


Click on the image to view the full report

Additional Resources
NC Controlled Substances Reporting System (CSRS)

Medication Lock Boxes

Brunswick County Health Services distributes medication lock boxes to families with children under age 18 living in their household.  Call Health Services at 910-253-2250 or 888-428-4429 (toll free) for more information.

Medication Disposal Pouches


Free medication disposal pouches are available at Brunswick County Health Services.  Pouches can be used to dispose of pills, liquids, and patches.  Simply put unused medications inside, add water, wait 30 seconds, seal the bag and throw it away.  Once adsorbed by the carbon inside the bag, the drugs are ineffective for abuse and safe for disposal in landfills. The pouch itself is environmentally friendly.



Treatment Resource Guide

Click on the image below to view the complete treatment resource guide.






(910) 253-2250
(888) 428-4429
open mon-fri:
8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

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