West Jefferson – The third and final special event for the 2019 On the Same Page Festival Read will take place Tuesday, September 17, at 1:00 p.m. in the Library Community Room.
Beth Macy’s Dopesick: Dealers, Doctors, and the Drug Company that Addicted America has been widely read and amplified by national media coverage since its publication a year ago. It has also prompted valuable dialog about the misuse of various addictive substances—see the report of the August 29 Festival Read panel discussion on the On the Same Page Festival Facebook Page.
The focus of the third discussion will be on “Banishing the Stigma,” led by two psychotherapists/clinical social workers who deal with the individual and interpersonal effects of substance misuse in their practice at Blue Mountain Center for Integrative Health in Boone.
Philip Cole has been a therapist and counselor in North Carolina for 25 years. He says, “In my private practice I specialize in working with substance abuse problems for adults, particularly as they affect adolescents and young adults. I provide on-site Critical Incident Stress Debriefings (CISD) and individual counseling for trauma victims including military veterans.” He has lived in the High Country since 2006.
Tom Woodard, also a Licensed Clinical Addictions Specialist, was a Navy medic in the Viet Nam era and holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Appalachian State. He says, “Family systems therapy has helped me understand the human patterns that surround and influence all of us,” and “my definition of health has grown to integrate body, mind, spirit, and the planet.” Besides providing individual counseling, he also supervises professional counselors working toward their certification or licensure.
The first two Festival Read sessions were engaging experiences for all participants, revealing the importance of the individual in any approach to the opioid crisis and the illness and conflict inherent in substance abuse. According to Karen Brock, one of the Festival Read organizers, “We hope and expect the Sept. 17 discussion will deepen our community’s understanding of why banishing the stigma is key to ending this epidemic.”
The wrap-up discussion of Dopesick will also be the first event of the five-day On the Same Page literary festival. Like almost all of the festival, the event is free and open to the public.
On the Same Page is presented by the Ashe County Arts Council and the Ashe County Public Library, with additional support from individuals (Page Turners), Skyline-Membership Corporation, the Friends of the Library, County of Ashe, and the Town of West Jefferson.