STUNNING REVERSAL: Jesse Smathers of Vaya Health, right, shows Gov. Roy Cooper how to assemble a Narcan kit during Cooper's recent visit to the agency's administrative office. Narcan reverses the effects of opiate overdose. Photo by Leslie Boyd

Asheville agencies address complexiti­es of opioid addiction and treatment

Health and law enforcement officials in North Carolina are trying to deal with an epidemic of opioid addiction, and they’re moving away from criminal prosecution for substance use disorders. Instead, the newer model is to coordinate care across the divide between physical and behavioral health “silos” (separate areas of service provision).

Goldenseal, a popular forest farming crop, is grown for medicinal use. Photo courtesy of Appalachian Beginning Forest Farmers Coalition

Workshop shares knowledge for raising crops on the forest floor

Many cultures around the world cultivate native, shade-loving plants beneath the forest canopy. Recently, more farmers in the United States have been getting excited about the potential of forest farming to diversify their crops while preserving natural environments. A forest farming workshop on Saturday, Sept. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 1, is geared to farmers of all levels who are interested in growing in the shade.

Image courtesy of Rooted in the Mountains

Rooted in the Mountains conference will integrate Western and Cherokee ideas

“Rooted in the Mountains,” a conference that explores the intersection of Western and native traditions that’s now in its eighth year, will take place at Western Carolina University on Thursday and Friday, Sept. 28-29, and includes a trip to the sacred site of Kituwah, the Cherokee “mother town.”

SOCIALLY CONNECTED:
AARP volunteers host workshops throughout WNC such as this Twitter training. AARP and YMCA of WNC are hosting a three-month program called Disrupt Aging Community Health Challenge. Pictured are 
AARP volunteers, from left, Bob Tomasulo, Deborah Wagner and Judy Williams. Photo courtesy of AARP North Carolina Mountain Region

Challenge aims to improve fitness, combat social isolation in older adults

A “health-meets-social” approach to aging rolls out this month at the YMCA of Western North Carolina, in collaboration with AARP. The partnership has created a three-month program, dubbed Disrupt Aging Community Health Challenge, that combines a fitness challenge with social involvement for people 50 and older. The YMCA of WNC was one of 10 YMCAs across the country […]

WASTE WATCHERS: Largely unheralded, the Buncombe County Metropolitan Sewerage District ensures that the waste generated by its approximately 130,000 customers is properly treated and disposed of before it enters local waterways. The agency is currently in the midst of a $266 million capital improvement project that will upgrade its plant facilities for the future. Photo courtesy of MSD

MSD upgrades its infrastruc­ture with capital improvemen­t projects

To fulfill its critical mission and increase its capacity to deal with a growing service area and customer base, MSD is in the midst of a $266 million capital improvement project, which will help ensure that the community’s waste is properly handled and safely disposed of.

CHANGE THE STORY: Gov. Roy Cooper signs the proclamation designating September as Drug and Alcohol Addiction Recovery Month in at Vaya Health on Thursday. Photo by Leslie Boyd

Cooper advocates a multi-pronged approach to addressing opioid addiction

Gov. Roy Cooper came to Asheville on Thursday to proclaim September as Drug and Alcohol Recovery Month in the state and to pledge his support for efforts that would effectively increase access to treatment for substance use disorder. “Every day in North Carolina, four people die from opioid overdose,” Cooper said before reading and signing the […]