Pubdate: Mon, 28 May 2007
Source: Chronicle Herald (CN NS)
Copyright: 2007 The Halifax Herald Limited
Author: Laura Fraser
Bookmark: (Treatment)


Family Establishes Outreach Program

Trina Hayes received countless phone calls from concerned friends 
after her son was diagnosed with diabetes.

But when Ms. Hayes's daughter became a drug addict, the phone went silent.

"When kids (have) cancer we don't fail to take them in, but with 
addictions, (society) still looks at it as a choice," Ms. Hayes said.

"As long as I have breath, I will do what I can to create awareness 
of this disease. My daughter shouldn't be stigmatized anymore than 
(should) my son with diabetes."

Ms. Hayes kicked off the campaign for the Taylor Recovery Outreach 
Group at Saint Mary's University Sunday. The organization started 
raising funds and awareness for their plan to open a 40-bed long-term 
rehab clinic for young addicts.

"Those kids have parents, they want a hug, they want to be loved, and 
(they) need someone who's going to love them and reach out," Ms. 
Hayes said. "Angie was my kid and she was on the street for a long time."

Ms. Hayes will be donating some of the proceeds from her book, Just 
Love Her, to the project. The novel chronicles the four and a half 
years it took for her daughter, Angie Griffith, to get clean.

Ms. Griffith smoked her first joint at 13. A year later she was out 
on the streets of Moncton, taking a cocktail of drugs that included 
cocaine, crack, and mescaline.

At 15, she got into trouble for writing bad checks and had to choose 
between entering rehab or going to a juvenile detention centre. Her 
mother signed her into a detox clinic, where she spent six months 
working towards getting well.

Ms. Griffith stayed clean for 51 weeks. She relapsed, however, seven 
days before her one-year anniversary.

Ms. Hayes and her daughter had planned to move to Florida where both 
could have a fresh start once Ms. Griffith stayed clean for a year.

But Ms. Hayes ended up going down by herself.

"That was probably one of the most difficult decisions I had to make, 
but I called a couple people at the recovery centre and they said 
'Trina you have to go and take care of yourself in case she ever 
decides to get clean again'.

Today, mother and daughter both live in Venice, Florida.

In February 2005, Ms. Griffith woke up in a Moncton crack house 
stripped of her jewellery, including her mother's first wedding band.

Since that morning, she's been clean of drugs.

Together, Ms. Griffith and her mother are helping others who have 
been affected by addiction. Ms. Hayes set up a support group where 
parents can share their stories in a safe environment.

Love and prayer are such powerful tools, Ms. Hayes said.

"No matter what, my kids would know that they were loved."
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