Former Addicts Explain How Parents Can Help Drug Addicted Children

PUTNAM COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Andrew Daniels used to spend $600 a day on pills.

“I was a liar, I was a thief,” Daniels said.

Rocky Meadows has been arrested more than thirty times.

“From the time I was 10 I always drank and drove,” Meadows said.

Today they are clean and sober. They’ve dedicated their lives to helping others do the same.

The pair is working to build a transitional living home for people just like them. Their journey, which started when they were cellmates, has been one filled with faith and personal healing.

Both made headlines. Meadows for robbery, Daniels for fraudulent schemes involving banks. Despite the countless mug shots or making headlines on the evening news, the last thing they wanted was help.

“Cut them off," Meadows said. “They can't live in your home. You can't give them a bologna sandwich. While they are active addiction, no matter how much you think you are helping them you are only helping them to their next event.”

Sheila Martin says at times she felt like a failure as a mother; she described one of her most difficult moments,

“Standing over top of him breathing about three breaths a minute,” she described following an overdose.

After that Martin had to tell her son, Daniel, who is clean and three-years-sober, that he was no longer allowed to live in her home.

“We will enable them to death, we will love them to death,” Martin said.

Martin tried taking Daniel's paycheck, keeping things in the house away from him, she even apologized for any pain that she caused that led him to do drugs.

“[Daniel] looked at me one day,” when he was clean and sober Martin explained, “and said, ‘Mom, you would tell me you were sorry and you would cry and I would get you to that point I could go out and use without any guilt'.”

As Martin watched her son reach rock bottom: she realized for it was also a time of personal reflection.

“As a parent we become as sick as they are. We have to educate ourselves as we can before we can ever try to help them.”

Sheila said it’s about taking a good look at your own life, as an adult, and dealing with your own issues.

The next part, Daniels explained, is letting go.

“There needs to be healing for the addict and healing for the family, and that starts with forgiveness.”

Martin, Daniels and Meadows have dedicated their lives to helping those who are living with addiction.

Martin started a support group called, “The Rock.”

They meet on Tuesday evenings at Faith Christian Fellowship in the Buffalo area of Putnam County. The meetings are at 7 o’clock in the evening.

They are also working to build a transitional living home.


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