Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

January 23, 2009

Helping moms fight addictions


Most of the children staying with their mothers at the Pines Family Campus are around 3 or 4 years old, Thomas said, the exception being her 16-year-old daughter Jamesha.

Treatment groups meet Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m., and include such classes as daily living skills, dual diagnoses, parenting, ready for work, substance abuse education and training, anger management and conflict resolution, among others.

Thomas said, “Alcohol is just a symptom of a problem, but there’s other problems too that, if I don’t work on them, will lead me back to alcohol.” She said her living skills group has helped her deal with “the shame and guilt I felt from being out there in an active addiction.” Now, she wakes up each morning “with peace of mind and a positive attitude.”

Thomas said that she loves to read “anything that will hold my attention. If I read the first two or three pages and it doesn’t grab my attention, I won’t finish it.”

Individuals wishing to receive Pines Family Campus services must undergo a clinical assessment prior to being accepted into the program. The only thing clients are responsible for is a $100 housing deposit and getting the electricity to their unit turned on, Harbin said. Once in treatment, rent is free until they are able to start working, at which time rent payments are based on income.

State budget cuts are a concern, Harbin said, but a bigger concern is having general funds for client needs, like personal hygiene items, diapers, medication, and electric bills.

“These women need help now,” Harbin said. “Due to the nature of the women coming into the Pines (Family Campus), many of them lack the financial resources to make treatment possible. Most of the women have burned all family bridges, are unable to receive assistance from other state agencies and are left to fend for themselves.

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