‘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).

We must be honest about adolescent addiction

By Beth Young • Guest Columnist

“It’s just a phase.” “They are just being teenagers.” “I drank when I was their age and I was fine.” These are things I know that I heard as a kid and that I have heard said to kids today. The flip side of these beliefs is the misconception that adolescents cannot develop substance-use disorders.

Western Carolina University event ‘walks the walk’ on opioid crisis

It’s been said time and time again after forums, panels and public meetings held in communities across the country over the past dozen-odd years: if we could talk our way out of the nation’s opioid crisis, it would have been over a decade ago. 

Region gathers to find recovery solutions

More than 150 leaders from Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties in North Carolina gathered Aug. 16 in Bryson CIty for the 7 County Western North Carolina Community Summit to discuss strategies about how to collectively create better cooperation in their efforts to encourage lifelong recovery for those suffering from substance use abuse and dependence.

Forced to Fight: Addicts long for life beyond heroin

Editor’s note: Names have been changed to protect the identity of those interviewed for this story. 

Five miles down an Appalachian dirt road 45 minutes from nowhere is where Daphne Laurel was raised, right in the heart of the sparsely populated mountainous region hit hardest by the ongoing opioid crisis. 

Forced to Fight: Law enforcement grapples with opioids in Appalachia

After a routine surgery, Haywood County native Clayton Suggs ended up hooked on opioids until on the first day alone in his new apartment after a year of sobriety, his addiction eventually cost him his life. 

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