For Teresa Hamrick, this is personal. The owner of a hair salon in Pinehurst, Teresa lost her son, Jacob Carver, to addiction last July. At one time a promising student and basketball player, he was 28.
The struggles Jacob endured inspired Teresa to become involved with Drug Free Moore County. A primary goal is to establish treatment options locally.
“I’m trying to get involved a bit with each corner,” Teresa, who’s been a hairdresser for 39 years, said. “I didn’t grow up with this.”
Currently, in order to enter detox or rehab, addicts must travel great distances, something not in the cards for those lacking transportation.
“There’s no place to send those with mental health issues or the addicted,” Teresa said. “Others either have to take them, or they put them on the street. It’s all out of town. We need something local, in Moore County.”
Innately shy, Jacob would get nervous in front of groups of people. A friend offered him an opioid to escape the fear.
“It started the pill addiction,” Teresa said. “Everything in his life started slowing down. It takes one swallow.”
The battle with substances, ultimately, saw Jacob sent to prison. Despite the negative turn his life had taken, he stayed optimistic.
“I have a 4-year-old grandson,” Teresa, originally from West Virginia, said. “He wanted to get better for him. He wanted help. He wanted to go to detox.”
A couple months before Jacob passed, signs emerged his nemesis had returned.
“We went away last Mother’s Day. He got sick,” Teresa said. “He had started using again after we got back.”
Her son died in Richmond County.
“The girl that gave him the fatal dose has not been charged,” Teresa said.
As noted, Teresa had no familiarity with drug abuse growing up. Jacob’s battle has made her well aware of how the problems go beyond the afflicted.
“It has caused problems with his siblings,” Teresa, who has two daughters, said. “Other children have issues because of it.”
Jacob’s sisters are 22 and 13. Teresa sees the obstacles they’ve faced – and are still facing – and believes changes in society and technology have made it harder for young people than it was in the past.
“Social media and bullying in schools are huge,” she said. “My daughter, who’s 22, started getting bullied at 15. It was social media. It was kids at school.”
While enduring a devastating loss, such as the death of a child, is continuous, Teresa aims to prevent others from experiencing similar heartbreak.
“We have to get something in Moore County,” she said. “Multiple people want to do this.”
To get from one day to the next, Teresa looks to her ironclad faith.
“If it weren’t for God, I don’t know what I would do,” she said.
To learn more about Drug Free Moore County or to make a donation, go to https://drugfreemoore.org/.
Feature photo: Teresa Hamrick. Contributed photo.
~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Dave Lukow.