Jail expansion project enters critical phase

Opponents of Haywood County’s proposed $16 million jail expansion project are ramping up pressure on county commissioners to consider alternative proposals that would devote more resources to keeping people out of jail. 

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.

Banishment law changes considered in Cherokee

Tribal Council will consider a pair of ordinances proposing changes to the tribe’s banishment laws during its March 5 meeting, and with discussions held during the Jan. 9 Tribal Council meeting and a Feb. 26 work session in the rearview, a final vote is likely. 

Studies show correlation between PTSD and substance abuse

By Taylor Sexton • Special to SMN | Emma Jordan lives in Hatteras, North Carolina, where she spends her days working hard, soaking in the sun’s rays, and struggling with PTSD and substance abuse.

“My whole deal was to bottle it up, leave it somewhere buried deep down inside,” Jordan said. “Somewhere you can’t think about it.” 

Haywood commissioners hear opioid update

It appears that some progress is being made in the fight against drug addiction in Haywood County, but a recent presentation to Haywood County commissioners proves there’s still a long way to go.

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