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House of Fear brings to life the many consequences of substance abuse

By: Rebecca Herman
Freelance Writer

During the fall there is a plethora of activities to celebrate the cooler temperatures and changing leaves. Many people seek out haunted houses, judgement houses, and corn mazes to keep them entertained, but this year there is a new attraction that can frighten, not with fantasy, but with a realistic view into substance abuse. October 23, 24, and 30 from 6-10pm, and October 31, from 6-11pm, all are invited to the National Guard Armory to take a walk through The House of Fear, which is sponsored by ACTION Coalition and the SADD Club.
It has been over ten years since ACTION Coalition has sponsored a haunted house themed event. Julia Lipford, who is a recent hire to ACTION Coalition, was instrumental in bringing this concept back to life and organizing the event. Lipford discussed the need for people in the community to see a visual reenactment of what substance abuse can do to teens, families, and friends. Lipford hopes the House of Fear will have a positive influence on the community.
The House of Fear tour takes guests through seven rooms in which people are seen abusing different substances. Guests are able to see the types of consequences that can come from what some may view as “harmless activity.”
“This is something every parent should bring their pre-teens and teens to,” said Angie Dickens, ACTION Coalition director. “Some of these kids start using tobacco products as early as 10, and alcohol at 12, so early education is necessary in order to prevent the behavior.”
Some of the scenes may seem graphic and were created in order for guests to have an emotional response. One scene in particular deals with a teenage girl dying in a car crash after she left a party where she had been drinking. These types of scenarios will hit home to people and the SADD club members want that to happen.
“We want to make a difference in our community and in someone’s life. One mother came last night and said she has been sober for eight years; she brought her children to show them what happens to people who live that kind of lifestyle,” recalled Montana Woodard, president of the SADD Club.
Many of the guests who went through The House of Fear spoke highly of the event. Con Sauls, new pastor of Mountain City Presbyterian Church, was excited to help out with this event. Saul’s wife, Nancy, who works at the Birthing Center in Boone, NC, said that she “applauds the SADD club for all the time and effort they put into this event. I see so many women and babies that are addicted to drugs and it’s heartbreaking.”
It is the goal of A.C.T.I.O.N Coalition to educate and work together to create a community that can be free of substance abuse.

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