Peer specialists go inside jail to assist inmates

Being incarcerated and not knowing what your future may hold is a terrifying experience, but being released from jail and having no resources to get back on your feet can be even scarier.

Jail program offers wake up call for women

At 27 years old, Samantha Ledford found herself addicted to prescription pills and heroin. Her daily life had become consumed with finding her next high and there didn’t seem to be a way out. 

Clean Slate Coalition gives hand up to women

Marsha Crites doesn’t believe in tough love. She believes in second chances — and even third and fourth chances if that’s what it takes to get someone back on the right track. 

The damage done: finding needles in a haystack

Lindsay Regner and Megan Hauser tromp down an old railroad line, their steady pace creating a predictable beat of feet dragging across road-grade gravel. 

New mental health crisis center to open in WNC

A new mental health facility in Asheville is set to open this summer to serve children and teens in Western North Carolina dealing with a mental health crisis and addiction. 

Laying down the law: Officers, DA explain challenges within the system

If you don’t have much experience within the criminal justice system, trying to navigate the system can be frustrating.

Governor, Haywood leaders meet on opioid crisis

As the opioid crisis continues to rage across the nation and the state, legislators, law enforcement and medical professionals are placing a renewed focus on stopping the next generation of addicts from starting. 

Drug crisis unit vote delayed in Cherokee

Plans to build a crisis stabilization unit in Cherokee for people battling addictions stalled this month when Tribal Council, for the second month running, voted to delay approval of the $31.5 million expenditure. 

Legislators respond to mental health shortfalls

As The Smoky Mountain News wraps up an ongoing series on the state of mental health in North Carolina, state lawmakers were asked to weigh in on funding cuts and their thoughts on what the General Assembly can do to improve the flailing system.

Cherokee sues opioid companies

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has filed a federal lawsuit seeking damages from 23 companies that manufacture or distribute opioid drugs. Listing a total of seven counts, the suit alleges violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act as well as negligence, conspiracy, fraud and creation of a public nuisance.

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