The American people have historically used substances for reasons ranging from celebration to coping to survival. The current societal focus on the opioid epidemic has brought significant attention to addictive disorders in the United States. A report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that 63,000 individuals died from drug overdose in 2016. One year later, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) reported 70,237 deaths in the United States caused by drug poisoning. This is an increase of 7,237 deaths in one year.
Since coming to Western Carolina University to complete her master’s degree in social work, graduate student Rosemary Yelton has seen firsthand the effects the opioid crisis is having on Western North Carolina. Wanting to help fight what has become a national epidemic, Yelton was excited to learn last summer that she had been named to North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein’s Council on Collegiate Opioid Misuse.
Graduating veteran finds peace after 'journey of a million steps' | Graduated, enlisted, blown up, hospitalized, released, addicted, homeless, hopeless, rescued, enrolled, graduated, employed, enrolled, graduated, honored, redeemed. Read between those lines a minute, and listen...
On a recent Wednesday evening, patients reviewed their progress since the last clinic before being treated. A cancer survivor with ambulatory challenges was patiently encouraged through a series of exercises, along with plenty of smiles upon completion of each task. Nearby, Swain County resident Delphia Birchfield watched a relative she had transported to the clinic begin his session. “This is an answered prayer,” Birchfield said. “Without it, I don’t know what kind of condition he’d be in right now, how he could cope. And he looks forward to it. You can see it with his interaction with the students. He’s treated as an individual, gets a level of attention and has made real progress. This clinic is a blessing.”