Judy McDonald

   With opioid addiction running rampant throughout our country, many of Wayne County’s residents and their families are affected by this tragic epidemic. Wayne County Helping Hands is a volunteer organization in our county that offers help to those wanting to overcome drug addiction. Co-founder Judy McDonald is featured on the Tennessee Department of Health website under “Wayne County Stories,” https://www.tn.gov/tnfacesofopioids/tn-faces-counties/wayne.html.

   “Since 1996 I have either had a family member or a friend or friend’s family member battling addiction. I began facilitating classes for family members of those with addictions through Teen Challenge Lifeline in 2007, and in 2010 helped to found Wayne County Helping Hands, a 501c3 organization, which has offered free referral services to hundreds of individuals wanting to overcome addiction and lead productive lives.

   I facilitate drug classes for women in Wayne County Jail weekly and often see the same men and women incarcerated over and over again on drug related charges. I have provided transportation to detox and rehab facilities for many clients and have attended graduation ceremonies, too. Wayne County Helping Hands was deeded a small house on two acres where we plan to house up to four women who are waiting for admission into a long-term rehab program so they will have a safe place to stay during this waiting period.  When there is no safe place, our experience has been that even those who really want help usually go back to a drug-infested environment and never make it to treatment.

   Our organization is on call 24/7, and my plans or those of one of our volunteers often take a back seat to the need of someone who is battling addiction. When we see even one person who has overcome and living a productive life, it is worth all that we do to help.” 

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