Peer pressure: Kevin Mahoney and Geena Hammond, both with the nonprofit Sunrise Community, will lend their expertise to a new diversion program the Buncombe County district attorney is rolling out that’s aimed at prioritizing treatment over convictions.

Cure for pain: Preventing opioid-related deaths

Buncombe County, like many places across the country, is in the throes of an opioid epidemic, many local sources say. Despite law enforcement efforts and increased awareness of overprescribing, the last few years have seen a dramatic rise in opioid-related overdoses and deaths. Between 2005 and 2014, the county had 110 homicides, according to the […]

SUPPORT SYSTEM: To avoid prison time, Nick Albizo, center, is working to get his life on track by confronting his drug abuse and mental health issues. Katie Stewart of the VA Medical Center, left, and Eric Howard of the Buncombe County Veterans Treatment Court are two members of a team that’s enabling him to find a new path. Photo by Able Allen

On a mission: Special treatment court helps troubled veterans regroup

Military service is difficult enough, but for many, life gets even harder once they’re done. Over half of the 2.5 million soldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan during America’s longest continuous period of war have returned with mental health conditions directly related to their time in uniform. Twenty percent have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress […]

Askville: High-end kids

Anyone who’s survived adolescence knows how rough it can be. The hormones, the willfulness, the rebellion, the confusion, the acne—and that’s under the best of circumstances. Imagine facing the tumult of that age in poverty, with one overworked, underpaid parent, and maybe with a family or community history of abuse or the scourge of drugs. […]