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Moms Beating Addiction

CINCINNATI (Liz Bonis) -- Local moms who share something serious in common share their stories; they were all hooked on heroin.

Now they are clean and want to give hope to other moms fighting this addiction.
Katie Strobel tells Local 12's Liz Bonis, "One day I tried it and I felt whole, and I thought this is what I have been missing my whole life, like why didn't I do this sooner?"

Chelsie Kane said, "I couldn't take care of my son."

Molly Hemsath told Liz Bonis, "I have four children, nothing could stop me, and I thought I would die this way."

The first thing you realize when you sit down with Katie, Chelsie and Molly at the Brighton Recovery Center is that staying clean is critical to their survival.

"I have overdosed 14 times, and it just got to the point where I knew I was gonna die," Katie said.
They have been sober now six to 18 months between the three of them; Molly the longest after 20 years of drug use.

"It's been a rough road, it's not easy, but my mom always told me nothing worth having is easy getting," she said.
Anita Prater is the director at the Brighton Recovery Center.  It is a long term treatment center only for women.  They have one hundred beds mainly filled with  moms hooked on heroin.

Anita Prater said, "67 percent of all intake since we've been tracking is heroin."

The program requires they kick the habit cold turkey.

Prater said, "There's a lot of controversy out there that the best practice is medication assisted programs, we don't find that to be true.  Recovery centers are total abstinence based."

What do people do that actually do stay sober?  What is the secret to recovery when we hear so many stories of those who don't succeed, what do the people do that do succeed?
They start by getting  structure back into their lives.  Each day a strict schedule with everything from cooking classes to counseling.

"I always felt that I was a good mom because I never lost custody of my children," said  Molly.

Their  second secret to success is a very slow transition back into their families lives.

"Recovery is about allowing them to practice what they are learning in their daily lives with their family and with society," said Prater.
Their children and parents often come to the center to find out how to help.

"I came in here and my family was planning my funeral.  And now we plan on going to the zoo," Katie told Local 12.
Compared to their previous lives it is now a full time job to stay sober.  Molly says she's learned to do that through a 12 step program of surrender.

"Every day I wake up and I thank God that I have another day at this, and right when I go to bed I thank God for keeping me sober," she said.

Finally, these women all know their real secret is accountability.

Katie said, "I was tired of living to die and I was ready to fight to live."

This program does not charge it's residents and is always in need of donations for the women as they transition into the community.  CLICK HERE for more information.

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