New support system helps those battling addiction in the Miami Valley

DAYTON — Nearly 21 million Americans have at least one addiction, but an addiction center said only 10 percent receive treatment.

News Center 7 Xavier Hershovitz checked out a new one-of-a-kind support system made for those battling addiction.

Becky Walsh knows firsthand the impact addiction has on a family.

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“I felt really helpless. Because I did not know what to do. I wanted to help them. I wanted them to just stop. I couldn’t understand why they couldn’t just stop,” Walsh recalled.

“They were living a life that I did not understand.”

Walsh’s son and grandaughter battled substance use disorder, she explained, “that’s not something you can just talk to anybody about. I come from a big family, although I love them all, they just really wouldn’t understand what I was talking about.”

Walsh was feeling isolated and then learned about Families of Addicts, decided to visit a meeting, and says, “that was the greatest gift.”

Walsh adds, “when my son came to me and was ready to stop using, I knew. I had tools.”

Now, she’s using those tools as a volunteer on FOA’s new warmline.

Not only is she trained on how to support those in addiction and their families, but she lived it. “We all understand the pain and the fear and everything that families and those who are still using go through. This is vital.”

FOA’s Executive Director Anita Kitchen says they are the *only crisis line available to help families of those impacted by addiction.

Kitchen says, “this is like getting the family healthy so then when you’re loved one is ready to get healthy, you have the tools to help get them there.”

The line is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. but they are always checking the line.

“If somebody is ready to get help, they can’t wait to Monday morning at 8 o’clock,” Walsh says.

Now with Walsh’s son and granddaughter in long-term recovery, she wants people to know, “there are people out there who experience this. They don’t wear a sign, you know they don’t advertise it. But they’re there.”

To call the FOA link line, dial 567-FOA-LINK on your cell phone or you can text them too.