Data calls for empathetic approach to treating addiction

By Melanie Threlkeld McConnell • Guest writer | Two Western Carolina University professors with interests in jail populations and addiction issues collaborated with one regional county government to better understand the recovery needs of its jail inmates with substance use disorder.

Opposition forms against proposed Haywood jail

A Nov. 3 report by the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office demonstrating the need for a $16 million expansion to the existing detention center hasn’t exactly met with approval from all sectors of the community. 

Former NYPD detective provides crisis training for cops

Det. Sgt. Ron Martin often uses a popular Star Trek anecdote to make a point about making difficult changes when the current ways aren’t netting the best results. 

Harm reduction — enabling people to change their lives

Michelle Mathis, chairwoman and interim director of the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition, admits the organization does enable drug users. 

Resistance to harm reduction grows in Haywood

Tensions ran high at the Aug. 3 Haywood County Board of Commissioners meeting as harm reduction critics become more vocal in their opposition and community health advocates become more frustrated over a lack of facts and understanding surrounding substance use disorder. 

Of meth and motherhood: Two stories of addiction, family and recovery

By Boyd Allsbrook • Contributing writer | Few issues raise as much political ire in Western North Carolina as that of the ongoing drug abuse epidemic. Debates rage over methadone, harm reduction and Substance Use Disorder-linked homelessness at most local government meetings. Everyone has an opinion on addiction and what to do about it. But too often a fundamental truth is missed — those experiencing addiction are importantly, individually, human. 

Removing the stigma: Spreading Hope and Awareness with the SHARE Project

By Boyd Allsbrook • Contributing writer | “I’m looking for a personal trainer who also knows kickboxing.” An innocuous Facebook recommendation post by an ordinary Waynesville mom. The sort of thing most just scroll past daily without so much as a second glance. But under and behind the normalcy was a cutting need for an outlet to that mother’s unresolved pain. 

Dealing with addiction during pandemic

Addiction is a disease of isolation. This is a common truth in the culture of recovery. So it is understandable that social distancing and isolation runs counter to most efforts of participating in a recovery community. 

Mental health agencies still providing resources

While some medical professionals warn of a second wave of COVID-19 cases across the nation, behavioral health experts say communities should be focused on flattening what they believe will be the second wave of COVID-19’s impact.

Plenty of room in the arena

I became aware of a Facebook group recently called “Finding Solutions — Waynesville.” On the surface it appeared this group was looking for solutions to the town’s social issues of homelessness and addiction, so I joined in so I could observe and perhaps offer valuable resources to the discussion — after all, The Smoky Mountain News has covered these issues extensively in the last several years.

Page 1 of 4
Smokey Mountain News Logo
SUPPORT THE SMOKY MOUNTAIN NEWS AND
INDEPENDENT, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALISM
Go to top
Payment Information

/

At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.