By Danielle Oil and Brittany Hailer, Spotlight PA and the Pittsburgh Institute for Nonprofit Journalism
Cammie Wolf Rice, of Atlanta, lost her 32-year-old son, Christopher, to addiction in 2016. // Submitted
Cammie Wolf Rice knows all too well the worst pain a parent can endure.
Rice, of Atlanta, lost her 32-year-old son, Christopher, to addiction in 2016. Like so many others whose loved ones died from an overdose, she felt powerless against this pervasive problem in America.
But that feeling didn’t last.
Cammie Wolf Rice, of Atlanta, and her son, Christopher, who was lost to addiction in 2016 // Submitted
Since her son’s passing, Rice wrote “The Flight,” released late last year, a gripping book about the experience, and started a nonprofit in her son’s name that focuses on addiction prevention and education.
Now, the Christopher Wolf Crusade is working with rural hospitals in Georgia to provide counseling on addictive drugs. Those who have also suffered from, and overcome their addiction, are working with those currently suffering from potentially deadly dependencies.
“[We’re] training people in recovery and I’m going to be hiring somebody in recovery because I need that peer to peer,” said Rice during a recent episode of the Postindustrial Podcast. “When I’ve got a patient that’s already in full addiction, they need a peer to talk to them.”
Cammie Wolf Rice, of Atlanta, wrote "The Flight" after she lost her 32-year-old son, Christopher, to addiction in 2016. // Submitted
Rice calls these new hires a “life care specialist,” a care coach to help people when they are in a health crisis, assisting with pain management and educating patients on the dangers of prescription drugs.
Her foundation has received a $1 million grant to start the program in rural Georgia.
“We believe this is the answer for rural communities, as well as urban hospitals, to stop addiction before it starts,” Rice said.
Learn more about Rice, her work, and efforts to curtail drug addiction in rural corners of Postindustrial America in Season 6, Episode 4 of the Postindustrial Podcast.
Postindustrial founder Carmen Gentile has worked for some of the world’s leading publications and news outlets including The New York Times, USA Today, CBS News and others. His book, “Blindsided by the Taliban,” documents his life as a war reporter and the aftermath of his brush with death after being shot with a rocket-propelled grenade in Afghanistan. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By ROSS WILLIAMS, GEORGIA RECORDER
By Stanley Dunlap, Georgia Recorder
By Ross Williams, Georgia Recorder