On the Same Page Literary Festival logo

WEST JEFFERSON — The third and final special event for the annual On the Same Page Festival Read will take place Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 1 p.m. in the Ashe County Library’s 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, according to a release from the festival’s committee. It has also prompted dialog about the misuse of various addictive substances in Ashe County, as previously reported by Ashe Post & Times.

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.

The two speakers for the event are Philip Cole, who has worked as a therapist and counselor for 25 years in North Carolina, and Tom Woodard, a licensed clinical addictions specialist who served as a Navy medic in the Vietnam era.

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, the release said.

“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,” said Karen Brock, one of the Festival Read organizers.

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, including Skyline-Membership Corporation, the Friends of the Library, County of Ashe and the Town of West Jefferson.

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