For the Cherokee tribe in western North Carolina, America’s drug problem hits home

Samantha Brawley got hooked on painkillers after high school, an addiction that stole nearly a decade and cost her most of the savings that were supposed to help improve her life.

Finding her next Percocet, and the next, was easy on the Qualla Boundary, the Cherokee reservation home to roughly 8,000 people in the Great Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina.