The stories are included in Drugs Did This, a new book by Randolph County writer Chip Womick, a former staff writer for The Courier-Tribune. The book will be available for sale at the forum.
The problems began for Preston Cross when he returned home with PTSD after serving 10 months in Iraq in 2006 and 2007. For years, alcohol was his drug of choice; after he received an honorable discharge from the National Guard, he gravitated to harder drugs.
Tonya Waugh and her twin sister, Toni Smith, each battled addiction: Toni saved Tonya when she overdosed in 2013, and Tonya saved Toni from an overdose on Christmas Eve 2014. Toni went to rehab but overdosed again and died 100 days later.
Tonya found her calling during 28 days at a residential treatment program in Virginia. Now she shares her story at Narcotics Anonymous meetings and at treatment centers – and every chance she gets.
Womick’s book has two goals. One is to raise money for the Community Hope Alliance, an Asheboro-based harm reduction nonprofit with a multi-pronged mission to provide resources and promote substance use education, awareness, prevention, and safety. The other is to raise awareness of the toll drugs are taking on individuals, their families, and on every person in Randolph County.
Other speakers will include Kelly Link, Susan Hayes, and Donovan Davis. Link co-founded the Community Hope Alliance with Ashley Hedrick, one of her three daughters, and will talk about why they started the organization and about its work.
Hayes, director of Randolph County Public Health, and Davis, director of Randolph County Emergency Services, will share facts and figures about the impact addiction and overdose have had in Randolph County.
In 2018, there were 448 suspected overdoses and 37 overdose deaths. The numbers for 2019 likely will be higher.
The library is located at 201 Worth Street. For further information, call 336-318-6803.