A mother and daughter, take their personal experience with meth addiction to help others with drug and alcohol addiction.
Stacy Sullivan-Jones was a methamphetamine addict for 17 years. She said that her mother Karen Daugherty was a drug addict since she could remember and introduced her to meth and the age of 16.
Sullivan-Jones admits that without her mother she would have never overcome her addiction to methamphetamines, but without her mother she would have never started the habit to begin with.
Together, Sullivan-Jones, Daugherty and long time friend and ex-meth user Teddi Griggs operate Mending Hearts. This is a transitional housing facility in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The three women opened the facility to help women recover from alcohol and drug addiction.
The ladies openly admit that they are not doctors or certified counselors, but they feel that they are educated from their own personal experience with addiction. They started Mending Hearts in 2008 and are capable of housing 10 women.
Before the mother, daughter duo wanted to help others overcome addiction; they both had to help each other escape the clutches of meth. Sullivan-Jones’ addiction was similar to her mother’s. Daugherty’s addiction started shortly after she gave birth – she started by becoming dependent on diet pills.
It was not long before Daugherty replaced the diet pills with methamphetamine. She was taking them before, during, and after work. She felt like a supermom, staying up for days feeling like a perfect parent, employee, and housewife.
Daugherty also expressed that when her children where home it didn’t seem wrong to let them use the drug as she was. “It’s very addictive because it gives you this false sense of you can do anything. You can clean a house for days, you can work, you can run,” Sullivan-Jones said. “You feel like Superwoman.”
According to the Missouri Department of Public Safety, a total of 7.5 percent of the 58,000 Missourians have identified methamphetamine as their drug of choice. The State of Missouri has ranked in No. 1 for the past 10 years in meth lab seizures, and admissions to treatment centers across the state have been increasing since the mid-1990’s.
“I’m the cop here…I think using … it’s absolutely ridiculous. And I’m tough. These women can turn their lives around if they would just listen.”
The Missouri Department of Metal Health’s Division of Alcohol and Drugs said there were 4,375 admissions into treatment centers last November for meth addiction. In 1993 there were only 146 admissions into treatment centers for meth addiction. The government has tried to stop this increase in numbers by passing the Combat Meth Act, which regulates the sale of pseudoephedrine in pharmacies.
All three girls that operate Mending Hearts will tell you that kicking a meth addiction is hard work. Sullivan-Jones said, the “crash” makes you angry, agitated, paranoid and ill.
Teddi Griggs, also a recovering meth addict and program director for Mending Hearts, remembers going through intensive behavioral management at a treatment facility in northeast Missouri. Griggs said she didn’t want to accept treatment for the first four months and focused only on her anger.
Now Sullivan-Jones is also a program director and Daugherty is executive director at Mending Hearts. They both have been clean for eight years and dedicate them self’s to helping other women with addiction’s.
Recently Mending Hearts received a state grant for the facility and Sullivan-Jones plans on running a tough operation, “I’m the cop here…I think using … it’s absolutely ridiculous. And I’m tough. These women can turn their lives around if they would just listen.”