Press release from the office of North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein:
Candler native Rosemary Yelton has been appointed to Attorney General Josh Stein’s Council on Collegiate Opioid Misuse. Yelton represented Western Carolina University on November 9 at the Council’s inaugural meeting for the 2018-2019 school year. Attorney General Josh Stein created the Council, comprised of students from colleges and universities across the state, to confront the opioid crisis on college campuses. November’s meeting included remarks from Attorney General Stein, Addiction Professionals of North Carolina Executive Director Donald McDonald, and families impacted by the opioid crisis.
“Serving on the Council fulfills a personal call to fight against the catastrophic opioid epidemic sweeping through Western North Carolina,” Yelton said. “Working with the Attorney General and students across our state will help raise awareness of protective laws and resources available for individuals facing addiction. I believe that anytime an informed conversation about opioid misuse occurs, the stigmatization of use decreases and chances for recovery increase.”
Yelton is obtaining a master’s degree in social work at Western Carolina. She is also involved with Catamounts for Recovery and the Association of Recovery in Higher Education. She received a bachelor of arts in anthropology from UNC-Greensboro and is a graduate of Enka High School.
The Council, which includes students active in student government, campus athletics, Greek life, public health and social work studies, and college recovery programs, will meet several times this school year to discuss strategies for addressing substance misuse at their schools. The Council will work to implement recommendations developed by last year’s Council to combat the opioid crisis at the college level.
“The opioid epidemic is the biggest public health crisis we face today, and we need these talented, smart students to help us address substance misuse on campuses,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I look forward to seeing the results of the initiatives these students are working on, and I’m grateful to them for joining the fight.”
Combatting the opioid epidemic is a top priority for Attorney General Stein. Since taking office in January 2017, he has convened round table discussions in communities across the state to share local strategies and perspectives. He has also initiated an investigation into the role of manufacturers and distributors in creating the crisis, and has promoted legislative action to address it—including the STOP Act and the HOPE Act. The 2018-2019 Council marks the second year in a row Attorney General Stein has taken this work directly to students.