Horry Georgetown Technical College in South Carolina will once again host their yearly lecture series on addiction and recovery this month. The Addiction and Recovery Lecture Series will begin February 26 and run through March 5.
The series will feature guest speakers and panels comprised of teachers, students, and others who are in recovery. Guests will hear about their stories of recovery, advice for others struggling with addiction, and sources of strength and inspiration.
There will also be dinners and opportunities to mingle and meet other guests and the speakers.
The lecture series will kick off on February 26 with actress Meredith Baxter as keynote speaker. Baxter has starred in a number of television and movie roles in her long career but is best known for her role as the mother in the popular tv series "Family Ties".
Throughout her career, Baxter struggled with alcoholism as well as a battle with breast cancer. She raised five children as well and dealt with domestic abuse.
Her story is one of courage, strength, and resilience in the face of some challenging obstacles. Baxter's experience is an example of someone who has dealt with and overcome some of life's biggest struggles while still retaining a sense of humor and optimism.
In 2011, Baxter came out with a memoir titled "Untied" which chronicled her early years growing up in California, her marriages, career, abusive husband, and alcoholism. She says during the height of her fame on "Family Ties" she led a secret life that involved drinking to deal with the physical and emotional abuse she suffered at the hands of her husband at the time, David Birney.
Her alcoholism and emotional turmoil didn't go unnoticed by "Family Ties" costars Michael Gross and Michael J. Fox, who both say they sensed that something wasn't right with Baxter.
The actress' behavior become more reckless as the abuse progressed, with her drinking becoming more out of control and endangering her own safety along with others.
The memoir also talks about Baxter's childhood and relationship with her mother, who was an aspiring actress.
Baxter's early years were not easy with a mother who didn't know how to compromise her role as a mother and actress very well and who often took out her frustration on her young children. Baxter's dysfunctional relationship with her mother eventually led her into similar unhappy relationships with men during her adult years.
In 2002, Baxter discovered that she was gay. For the first time in her life she felt free to be herself without having to worry about what others were going to think.
Her life opened up to a new feeling of freedom and fresh possibilities. Baxter fell in love with Nancy Locke in 2005 and the couple have been together ever since.
The two were finally able to marry in 2013 in an intimate ceremony attended by close family and friends.
Baxter continues to star in movies and television roles along with working to raise awareness for breast cancer through her research foundation.
She will be appearing at the recovery lecture series along with former Marine helicopter squadron Kevin McCauley. McCauley has also worked as a surgeon and is an advocate for addicts' rights as patients.
The Addiction And Recovery Lecture Series was founded by Horry Georgetown College professor Casey King in 2008. The series is meant to increase awareness of recovery and educate the public on the nature of addiction in an effort to remove the stigma society has toward those who suffer from alcoholism and drug addiction.