Book chronicles Georgia drug treatment pioneers - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Book chronicles drug treatment pioneers


A new book retells the story of one of Georgia's first drug and alcohol treatment centers and the two recovering addicts who founded it.

"When Two Loves Collide" tells the story of Dr. John Mooney and his wife Dot, who founded Willingway Hospital. The author, Bill Borchert, was fascinated by their story.

"John was a decorated Army doctor in World War II. He cared for troops while he was hurt and wounded and took drugs and drank to mask his own physical pain," Borchert stated. "When he came home, he was a respected physician and an addict."

The book outlines the affects the couple's addictions had on their lives, their practice and their children. In the 1950's, Mooney was sent to federal prison for writing himself prescriptions for pain pills. In prison, he went through a treatment plan.

"Once back in Statesboro, people began coming to him with their addiction problems because he was a doctor and because of his history," explained the couple's son Jimmy.

Jimmy remembered his parents bringing recovering drug addicts and alcoholics into the family home to help them.

"Once they were sober, they knew they could help people because they had been through it," the son explained.

Mooney said Borchert had met his parents years ago and approached the family more than a year ago to research a book. But he cautioned, the book would not be all flattering.

"I told them I don't write books about angels floating about. I write books about people with warts as well as virtues," the author explained.

He said the title comes from not only the couple's love for each other, but their respective love for their addictions.

"When those two things collided, it was chaos," he added.

Borchert said his research indicates tens of millions of people suffer from addiction, and each one has five to seven loved ones who have to live through the trouble it causes.

"With so many people impacted, there's a story here that can help them get through addiction," he noted.

The book is currently on sale through Willingway Hospital at and at .

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