WILSON’S LOCAL PRINT AND DIGITAL COMMUNITY INSTITUTION SINCE 1896

Wilson couple honored for role in opioid fight

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The N.C. Attorney General’s Office has recognized the work of Mike and Becky Cannon in their fight against the opioid epidemic.

The Cannons were among 16 others across the state who were received the prestigious Dogwood Award from Attorney General Josh Stein. The Cannons founded the JCANS Foundation after their son, Jonathan, died as a result of a heroin overdose in 2015. Since then, they’ve made it their mission to get those the help they need as well as provide support to family and friends who often don’t know where to turn when a loved one is going through such a dark place.

“They are tireless leaders advocating for appropriate treatment for people with substance use disorder,” Stein said during a ceremony held in Raleigh. “Mike and Becky have taken the unimaginable pain of losing their son, Jonathan, and channeled it in helping hundreds of other people to get the treatment that they need to fight the disease of addiction.”

The Dogwood Awards highlight and show appreciation for the unique contributions people are making in their communities, officials say. The awards are given annually to honor North Carolinians who are dedicated to keeping people safe, healthy and happy in their communities.

“We were very surprised and very excited,” said Mike Cannon. “We are able to do what we do because of all the people who support our efforts. At the end of the day, they are the ones that make it happen.”

FUTURE PROJECTS

Mike Cannon said the foundation’s goal has always been to open a detox/rehabilitation facility. And JCANS is in the process of pursuing a building that would house that facility.

“We’re really starting see things come together,” he said.

His hope is to open the facility by mid-2019.

“It’s actually a facility that would serve about five counties,” he said, including Wilson. “It’s really to serve that person and that family that don’t have the resources to provide treatment for their loved ones.”

He said the foundation’s plan is to launch the facility and build a team who has expertise in the field.

“We’re having some conversations with some key people that can make that happen,” he said.

He added that the facility would focus on those who don’t have money or insurance, which is a stumbling block for those seeking treatment.

The Cannons will also join more than a dozen others for a meeting at the state level next week.

“Most of us are parents who have lost children and got actively involved in the issue we are facing,” Mike Cannon said. “We will meet next week and talk about new legislation and what’s needed.”

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