Fighting the Heroin epidemic, one mother’s road to recovery

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Imagine going to sleep every night for two years wondering if your child would make it through the night.
For Janice Collier, that’s the nightmare that describes the last few years of her life.

Her son Joe became addicted to Heroin four years ago, and after that, the drug consumed his life.

“First thing when he wakes up, he’s wondering how am I going to get money to get my fix,” said Collier.

She says it came to the point where he would sell everything he had and take money from those he loved just to buy the drug.

“It’s sad when you are actually a mom and you are okay that your child is in jail because you know they’re going to live through the night,” said Collier.

It’s a drug that tore them apart. That is until Joe decided to seek help.

“My son knew because he saw it in my eyes that I was so serious that when I got to my breaking point, I meant it. I was done, I was done, I was so done with him using heroin anymore, and it was either you get out and I’m done with you or you go to treatment, and he chose treatment. I thank God every day for that,” said Collier.

Now, the two are stronger than ever because Joe’s been clean for 18 months.

“I just pray every day that he keeps working his program and stays clean,” said Collier.

It’s been an emotional journey for the two of them, one Collier says she couldn’t have made without organizations like “The Addict’s Mom”.

“All of the people that are struggling with their child because their child just got thrown in jail or their child just robbed them and took their TV or whatever, when they see that hope from another mom, we need hope, like my friends that are helping me with this, they need to know that they do get better and that’s why TAM is so big,” said Collier.

It’s an outreach group with over 75,000 members, all mothers giving advice and support on the road to recovery.

“They have to live one day at a time in sobriety, we have to live one day at a time in our sickness because we end up just as sick as they do,” said Collier.

According to the Horry County Coroner, nearly one person a day is dying because of Heroin in Horry County. That’s a statistic mom’s like Collier are trying to fight.

Now, she says she’s using her experience as a mother of an addict to now help others.

This Saturday, she’s organizing a candlelight vigil for mothers who are fighting addiction. The event is called “Lights of Hope”. South Strand Community Church and Parkway Community Baptist Church are hosting  it at 118 Leisure Lane at 7 pm.




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