Opioid settlement could result in drug treatment facility

Millions in opioid settlement money is coming to the state, to most counties and even to some municipalities.

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.

Strong start for SHARE Project

If the newly-formed SHARE Project’s May 16 drug awareness march was any indication, the group can look forward to strong community support as it attempts to influence both the perception of and legislative agenda surrounding the nation’s ongoing opioid addiction crisis. 

The benefits of Community Response Teams

By Hannah Minick • Guest Columnist | To say that we are currently living in unprecedented times is an understatement, and it is absolutely true. If there is one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught me, it is that we are all connected and what affects one of us affects all of us. As we have learned, the time period we are in requires innovative and collaborative community solutions as we move forward together, through the multitude of issues and challenges we collectively face. I believe it is imperative for our community, Haywood County, to continue to proactively implement evidence-based community interventions.   

Compromise on new jail project urged

Bob Clark • Guest Columnist | The request to the Haywood County commissioners from the Sheriff’s Department for $15 million to expand the county jail helped create a great opportunity for the commissioners. That opportunity arose when a significant, broad-based and factual public response was made questioning whether some of that money wouldn’t be better spent to help people stay out of jail as well as out of our clogged court system.

‘Something’s got to give’: Sylva police chief argues for more officers

Every year, Sylva’s department heads have a chance to tell town commissioners what they need — and what they want — in the next year’s budget. During a Jan. 28 work session, Police Chief Chris Hatton kept his list short and to the point. 

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. 

Constituents concerned with Haywood commissioner’s stance on drugs

Haywood County Commissioner Mark Pless spent 15 years as a paramedic. He’s responded to more drug overdose calls than he cares to count — some people he was able to save, while others were too far gone. 

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. 

Another casualty: A review of A Boy Who Mattered

In January 2019, the National Institute on Drug Abuse issued an updated report on the use of opioids in the United States, including this observation:

In 2017, more than 47,000 Americans died as a result of an opioid overdose, including prescription opioids, heroin, and illicitly manufactured fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid. That same year, an estimated 1.7 million people in the United States suffered from substance use disorders related to prescription opioid pain relievers, and 652,000 suffered from a heroin use disorder (not mutually exclusive).

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