Displaying items by tag: western north carolina

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.

Vaya Health has received statewide honors for its work to prevent fatal opioid drug overdoses throughout western North Carolina.

Last year it was still just a quaint, silly little term — fake news.

2017: Year in review

Before we ring in the New Year, The Smoky Mountain News likes to look back and reflect on the last year of news.

The headlines that have graced our pages in 2017 have had an important impact on the people of Western North Carolina, and our staff has taken its job of reporting and analyzing those issues seriously.

By David Belcher • Guest columnist

I had the privilege of presiding over Western Carolina University’s Dec. 16 commencement ceremonies and witnessing the great emotion and sense of accomplishment among the graduates. A point of pride at this December’s commencement was that nearly half of the fall graduating class hails from the 18 westernmost counties of our state, a reflection of WCU’s impact on Western North Carolina.

There is no bigger highlight in the university calendar than commencement day. Commencement signifies WCU’s ultimate purpose and the fulfillment of our fundamental responsibility: the education of our citizens across a broad spectrum of disciplines for thoughtful, productive leadership in our society.

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.

While the Macon County League of Women Voters had to disband this year due to low membership and community involvement, the Asheville-Buncombe League is on the upward swing with a renewed enthusiasm from members and the community.

After a months’ long battle, Mission Health hospitals and its affiliates will be back in Blue Cross Blue Shield’s network as of Dec. 15.

I don’t really want to go into the domestic circumstances that led up to it, but even though I had no car, no money, no work and now, nowhere to live, I walked down our darkened driveway in the middle of the cold starry night with little more than the clothes on my back.

Worse than the dearth of resources, I had no social support structure, and with no real knowledge of the resources available to someone in a short-term housing crisis, there I was, standing in a Maggie Valley gas station mere moments into Thanksgiving Day, in a short-term housing crisis.

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