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The mental health system in North Carolina can use all the help it can get as it struggles with cuts in state funding, an increase in the demand of services and a shortage of local rural providers.

As The Smoky Mountain News wraps up an ongoing series on the state of mental health in North Carolina, state lawmakers were asked to weigh in on funding cuts and their thoughts on what the General Assembly can do to improve the flailing system.

Major changes are coming to North Carolina’s Medicaid program, and the regional organizations that manage those dollars for behavioral health needs are wasting no time in getting prepared to respond. 

Hannah LeAnn Nix says she’s not the same person she was a few years ago when a judge deemed her mentally incompetent and appointed her a state guardian.

Limiting the number of prescriptions written for addictive painkillers like Percocet and Oxycontin is definitely a good start, but addiction specialists say it is just the beginning of solving the opioid epidemic in this country.

Services are available for those suffering from substance abuse through the following providers in Western North Carolina:

The opioid problem has been bubbling underneath the surface for over a decade, but the issue has now reached a roaring boil as the medical community, law enforcement, families who have lost loved ones and politicians are taking action to address the problem.

Even though the research shows that medication-assisted management for opioid addiction is the most successful treatment method, the prevailing stigma associated with methadone and other opioid medications is still preventing people from seeking the help they need.

Asking for help is often the hardest step in the recovery process. Even after realizing you need help, it can be difficult to identify the problem and navigate your way through the mental health system.

Despite funding cuts from the state and Vaya Health, Meridian is working hard to make sure the programs for domestic violence and sexual abuse offenders stay viable.

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