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Hospital, EMS seeing ‘a lot more’ overdose deaths

Publisher’s note: This is the third in a multi-part series where the Border Belt Independent looks at what has changed since The News Reporter’s six-part series in 2017 that reported on the opioid crisis and associated mental health issues. Today, Publisher Les High looks at the increase in overdose deaths, particularly during the pandemic, and how overdoses and mental crises strain the resources of the …Read more Continue reading Hospital, EMS seeing ‘a lot more’ overdose deaths

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Sheriff: Columbus drug crime is a ‘bad situation’

  Editor’s note: This is the second in a multi-part series where the Border Belt Independent looks at what has changed since The News Reporter’s six-part 2017 series on the opioid crisis and associated mental health issues. Today, Reporter Ivey Schofield looks at how law enforcement officials, an attorney and local support agencies view drugs through the lens of crime. Ivey SchofieldBBI Writer Drugs in …Read more Continue reading Sheriff: Columbus drug crime is a ‘bad situation’

‘We need to have a reformation:’ Opioid use continues to wreck lives across Columbus

Editor’s note: This is the first in a seven-part series that looks at what has changed since The (Whiteville) News Reporter’s series in 2017 that reported on the opioid crisis and associated mental health issues. Today, Reporter Ivey Schofield looks at how opioid misuse became prevalent, how prescription policies have changed, and how heroin has begun to replace harder-to-get opiates like oxycodone.  By Ivey Schofield …Read more Continue reading ‘We need to have a reformation:’ Opioid use continues to wreck lives across Columbus

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Don’t let your guard down as COVID cases drop in southeastern NC, health experts say

By Sarah Nagem sarahnagem@borderbelt.org COVID-19 cases are falling across southeastern North Carolina, and fewer people are hospitalized with the virus. But now is not the time to stop taking precautions, health officials say. “I don’t believe for a minute we can let our guard down,” said Renae Taylor, vice president and chief nurse executive at UNC Health Southeastern in Robeson County. “The last thing I …Read more Continue reading Don’t let your guard down as COVID cases drop in southeastern NC, health experts say

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Rural North Carolina hospital leader emerges as outspoken critic of COVID ‘noise’

Joann Anderson, president and CEO of UNC Health Southeastern in Robeson County, has emerged as a Facebook-posting, say-it-how-it-is advocate for COVID vaccines and a fighter against misinformation, conspiracy theories and political divides.Read more Continue reading Rural North Carolina hospital leader emerges as outspoken critic of COVID ‘noise’