North Carolina colleges are trying to combat opioid misuse — but they lack needed funding

When Alexander Smith peered through the plexiglass window of his jail cell into his father’s eyes, he saw the destruction he’d caused. Smith’s addiction to opioids – from prescription pills to heroin – had pained his father for years.

Smith finally felt that pain for himself.

But his moment of reckoning was gone as soon as he got in the car with his father, who had bailed him out. Smith reached for his phone to find the nearest dealer. The addiction had taken over again, and he was powerless.

He knew he wanted to stop. He had tried on his own plenty of times since he developed his addiction at 18. But there was an easier fix than dealing with the depression that came with his addiction: he could find more drugs.

“As long as I could have drugs, no amount of pain or destruction mattered,” Smith said.

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