News 5 investigates the problem of drug addiction here on the Gulf Coast. Addiction affects men and women. We look closely at women who are addicted; women who are mothers, sisters, and daughters. The Home of Grace for Women in Eight Mile treats hundreds of women each year who are addicted to drugs. We wanted to know what drugs have women hooked the most?
We sat down with three recovering addicts: Kayla Henley, Haleigh Lowe, and Gwen Zanetti. Henley was addicted mainly to crystal meth. She says, “Meth was my number one thing. I had energy, could do anything. I made money at work. It was everything to me.” Lowe was addicted to opiates. She says, “The opiates, they are everywhere. You can go to the doctor, and it’s insane what the doctor will give you for the excuses you tell them.” Zanetti did just about every drug, but cocaine was her go-to. She says, “I was injecting cocaine. Cocaine is the easiest to get on the streets.”
We asked the intake counselor which drugs are women most commonly abusing when admitted to the Home of Grace. Mary Tillman says crystal meth is number one, followed by opiates, and then cocaine. Tillman says, “For some reason, it seems more women are coming, which is good in the fact that they are not on the streets, but it is extremely busy right now.”
Home of Grace Founder, Doris Littleton, refuses to turn any woman away. “We are having a growth crisis right now. We are having to graduate women to take other women in.”
Henley, Lowe, and Zanetti all feel positive after living at the Home of Grace. They describe the staff as “amazing,” and they definitely “feel the love.” They feel hopeful that they will remain clean. Zanetti says, “I have been to jails, institutions, and death. The only thing left is death.”