Family member's overdose leads to mother's creation of "Mission Recovery"

(WHAM photo)

There’s a new place to go for people who are feeling overwhelmed with addiction. A mother who lost her daughter to a drug overdose is now partnering with the Gates Police Department to help those affected by addiction.

Like so many parents whose child is an addict, Kimberly Ford was looking for support.

“I've spent many hours on the phone, calling different places, running into brick walls,” said Ford.

The stress of a loved one in addiction is something Carol Hulsizer knows well. Her daughter-in-law, Nicole O'Brien, died of an overdose in 2016.

Nicole was 28. Hulsizer's five-year-old granddaughter was by her side when she died.

“I didn't know of any family support groups or systems that could be helpful to me,’ Hulsizer recalled. “It was always thought that if the addict gets clean, the family will be fine. But it's not working that way. You see parents arguing with each other, families torn apart.”

Hulsizer is also a recovering addict. Sober for 24 years now, she's sharing her insight through peer-to-peer counseling, and pooling resources for families at her non-profit Mission Recovery, partnering with the Gates Polices Department.

“That's the bridge that I want to be,” Hulsizer explained. “From desperation to hope, finding a way to take all of that angst and that pain and turn it into something productive, so that not only do you feel good about what the future holds for your family, but you feel like you're making a difference.”

Ford says this is a place she's needed. “You know that whatever you're going through, if she doesn't have the answer, she may find somebody who does have the answer. Now you have some resources out there and some people who are willing to walk that road with you for a little bit, make sure I'm not fighting harder than the person that needs the help.”

“It could seriously be life-saving. We're going to be saving lives, and healing families,” said Hulsizer.

Mission Recovery is run by volunteers. If you'd like to volunteer, or get peer-counseling, click here.

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