RENEW Bryson City  

RENEW Bryson City


A Community Volunteer Initiative

Our vision is to promote public education, treatment, recovery efforts, harm reduction, and solutions with law enforcement involvement. We must all be committed to improving the family conditions and help make Bryson City a healthy place for all to live, work, and raise children.

We all have a moral obligation to leave the world a better place because we were here.

Jane Doe - Another Company, LLC

Some of the Priority Goals of RENEW

  • Support efforts to provide accessible long term treatment to western North Carolina.
  • Support the education of local physicians and other drug providers about the state guidelines to reduce the use of pain meds.
  • Promote the addition of more recovery groups in churches, schools, jails and elsewhere (NA, AA, Al-anon).
  • Support a local provider of needle exchange to reduce the spread of Hepatitis, HIV and other diseases.
  • Support Church of God in the quest of funds to provide a transition house for men exiting treatment.

RENEW Bryson City is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with the United States Internal Revenue Service.


Accomplishments of RENEW (4/18 - 11/19)

  • Community Assessments with Dr. Don Teater and members of the community, April 2018, with outcomes to direct the needs in our community. Areas include:  law enforcement, schools, public education, harm reduction, government, churches, providers, treatment/recovery.
  • Provided public education monthly on topics such as: addiction, recovery, syringe exchange, drug impact on families, hepatitis.
  • Created website
  • Created Facebook page renewbrysoncity
  • Provided parent drug awareness class for Mountain Discovery Charter School  
  • Provided 10 lesson drug prevention classes for middle school at Mountain Discovery Charter School
  • Provided medical provider education to WNC physicians, dentists, pharmacists
  • Received Evergreen grant to provide prevention curriculum for middle school students and parents
  • Ongoing creation of Swain County Comprehensive Resource Directory with the financial help of the Community Foundation.
  • Public Awareness table at Freedom Festival 2018
  • Public Awareness table at County Fair 2018
  • Pancake Fundraiser October 2018 United Methodist Church
  • Provided two billboards in Bryson City with positive recovery messages for 12 months
  • Promotion/collaboration of syringe exchange coming to Bryson City mid- April, in association with WNC AIDS Project
  • Member of the WNC Harm Recovery Coalition, addressing safe, managed use of those who use drugs & lead them to recovery, reduce the stigma of drug use and provide resources to help them improve their lives.
  • Representative member of the State Recovery Alliance to create societal change and mitigate the impact of SUD across our communities
  • Parent drug awareness class at Bryson City Church of God, April 4, 18, 25.
  • Fundraiser with Cornerstone Wesleyan Church, April 20, 11:00am-3:00pm
  •  “Teen Bedroom Out of Sight” Display
  • Pancake Fundraiser/Festival October 12, 2019             Methodist Church
  • November 12 “Building a System of Care” by recognizing ACES/Trauma in our community Presbyterian Church.
  • December 5 “Building a System of Care” by recognizing ACES/Trauma in our community Methodist Church.

Some of the Obstacles for Bryson City

  • Denial of opioid and other drug use here
  • Lack of understanding
  • Fear of unknown
  • Lack of jobs
  • Lack of affordable housing
  • Poverty, loss of hope
  • Lack of family structure
  • Mental health needs
  • Domestic abuse and neglect
  • Generational drug use
  • Unwillingness to talk about issues
  • Resources for families and those using

Up Coming Events

Tuesday, Feb 16 at 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday, Mar 16 at 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday, Apr 20 at 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Tuesday, May 18 at 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Hope Springs

Swain County Local Statistics

  • According to NC DHHS Swain is 87th out of 100 counties in our health status, up from 93rd the year before
  • Swain County’s health outcome rating is a “D” due to rampant addiction, infant mortality, poverty, mental health and more.
  • Everyday 200+ Americans die from opioid overdose in America.  2,547 died in N.C. in 2017.  It is the leading cause of death of Americans under age 50.
  •  10% of all babies born in 2017 at Mission Hospital, in Asheville, were born with withdrawal symptoms from opioids.   This birth rate addiction has increased by 900% in the last 10 years.
  • 63% of children in Swain County foster care are there due to parents’ drug use.
  • $6,673,640 work loss & medical costs 2018  or $468/person
  • 20 overdose deaths last year (Jackson 30, Macon 18, Haywood 78, Clay 4, Cherokee 27, Graham 6)
  • 1,124,000 pills distributed last year/79 per person
  • One of the highest hepititis rates in state - (sharing syringe's and such) 

Negative Affects

  • Homelessness
  • Domestic Abuse
  • Children in care of social services
  • Addicted babies
  • Criminal justice
  • Overdose deaths
  • Spread of AIDS/HIV

Statistics on Drug Addiction

  • Hepatitis has increased by 500% in the past 10 years, due the use of heroin.   Many other diseases have spread also, due to needle usage.
  • According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 19.7 million American adults (aged 12 and older) battled a substance use disorder in 2017.
  • Almost 74% of adults suffering from a substance use disorder in 2017 struggled with an alcohol use disorder.
  • About 38% of adults in 2017 battled an illicit drug use disorder.
  • That same year, 1 out of every 8 adults struggled with both alcohol and drug use disorders simultaneously.
  • In 2017, 8.5 million American adults suffered from both a mental health disorder and a substance use disorder, or co-occurring disorders.
  • Drug abuse and addiction cost American society more than $740 billion annually in lost workplace productivity, healthcare expenses, and crime-related costs.
  • Genetics, including the impact of one’s environment on gene expression, account for about 40% to 60% of a person’s risk of addiction.
  • Environmental factors that may increase a person’s risk of addiction include a chaotic home environment and abuse, parent’s drug use and attitude toward drugs, peer influences, community attitudes toward drugs, and poor academic achievement.
  • Teenagers and people with mental health disorders are more at risk for drug use and addiction than other populations.

National Statistics

  • 1 out of 4 families includes an addicted member
  • 1 out of every 10 people have an addiction
  • Every 11 minutes someone dies of an overdose
  • Overdoses are #1 cause of death under the age of 50
  • 20% of high school students use drugs
  • $700 Billion loss in USA due to impact of drugs or $2100/person
  • 14.8 million addicted – 70% of them are employed with each costing $7000 annually in impact
  • 90% of addictions begin in high school
  • A baby is born to an addicted mother every 25 minutes
  • Long term mental issues & economic costs 100,000 for each of these babies