The scourge of drugs in Haywood County

Mar 30, 2017

Drugs, or whatever other the form of escapism has been popular through the centuries, have been an issue for humankind since almost the beginning of time.

If historical patterns continue, there will always be those looking for an external shortcut to make their life better — or bearable. Whether it’s to erase a painful experience, cope with the drudgery of every day life or to seek mind-altering thrills, many in Haywood are turning to drugs. The results can be deadly after people realize the short-term solution can quickly turn to long-term addiction.

In the coming weeks, The Mountaineer will publish a series on drugs in Haywood County. Just about everyone has had their lives affected by drugs in some way. Whether through their own addiction, the painful experience of a family member or friend, as a victim of a crime perpetrated by someone who needs money to feed their habit, or the overall cost to taxpayers to address the drug problem, it is a safe bet all in the county are paying a price.

As vast as this problem is, and as unsuccessful as so many attempted solutions have been, there are those who still work tirelessly to untangle this mess across town, county and state lines.

The Mountaineer will present information in multiple forms. Each story will be accompanied by a graphic or general information to offer greater insight into the issue and illustrate the astonishing depth and breadth of this problem. To frame the issue as fully as possible, the Mountaineer will speak with law enforcement officials, legislators, addicts, educators, doctors and everyday people.

The stories will be broken up into three sections: The Problem, which will look into the specific drugs and substances plaguing Haywood County; Collateral Damage, which will show how drugs affect individuals, their families, communities taxpayers; The Solution, which will present the multi-prong approaches to dealing with the problem.

Whether we like it or not, the solution to this problem lies not in the hands of the individual, or even the government. It requires a concerted effort from everyone.

If you have experienced the throes of addiction, the struggle of recovery or you are a close friend or relative of someone who has, we would love to hear your story. If you would like to get your story out, please reach out to the Mountaineer.

We look forward to bringing you these stories to frame this problem, the people it affects and the solutions we can all take part in.