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Opioid crisis in Buncombe termed severe
Sunday, 11 February 2018 12:07
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The alarming state of Buncombe County’s opioid abuse and the steps to address it was discussed by County Commissioner Ellen Frost at the Jan. 12 meeting of the Council of Independent Business Owners at UNCA’s Sherrill Center.

About 50 people attended the early-morning breakfast meeting.

“Nobody wakes up in the morning and decides to be a heroin addict,” Frost told the CIBO gathering. “What we found is that 86 percent of heroin starts with regular prescriptions. But opiates are different. We know that some people can be addicted from a three-day prescription — that’s eight pills.

“It started in the early ‘80s. Doctors were told by the drugmakers that opiates weren’t addictive,” Frost said.

Following intense lobbying by the pharmaceutical companies, Congress “created laws to protect those physicians so if their patients became addicted they could not be sued.”

Meanwhile, in Mexico, locals were producing black tar heroin (a black, sticky substance) and “their business model was pizza delivery. … Their aim was to please, so that if people could not get opiates, they had this other prescription for black-tar heroin, Frost said.

For AVL-HVL passenger rail to profit, entertainment urged
Sunday, 11 February 2018 12:01

From Staff Reports

Train enthusiast Larry Morton continues to advocate for passenger rail between Hendersonville and Asheville, but exactly what that means continues to evolve. 

Morton has been on a crusade, making presentations to local groups to drum up interest in the idea, and he says to date he has only had positive responses.

 In order for the prospect to be fiscally viable, though, it needs a competitive edge. For instance, a commuter train could not be run because the track proposes to use does not allow passenger cars to travel faster than 30 mph. What’s more, the first run of the day would probably be too late for commuters; and the last one, too early.

Morton could not exactly offer scenic tours, either, as the track runs along the backside of commercial buildings for most of the route. 

In the latest twist, he has unveiled the idea of offering entertainment rides. The car — or cars — could be rolling diners, for example; and maybe even cabarets at night. They could also be event venues for birthdays, weddings and corporate teambuilding, Morton said.



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