Moms call for compassion for Snohomish County's opioid addicts

KING 5's Eric Wilkinson reports.

As Dottie Drake looked through photos at her Lake Stevens home Wednesday, she saw a snapshot of an all too typical American family - a family in crisis.

"What's really sad about these pictures is I can look at them and know this is when he was in recovery and this is when he was using," she said.

Dottie's son, Bobby, started dabbling in drugs when he was a teenager.

A few years later he was a hardcore heroin addict.
  
He broke into his family's home, even smashed a window at the store his mom runs and stole from there.

"No mother ever expects that to happen, but it can happen to anybody's kids," she said.

Dottie sent her son to treatment countless times.
  
When she saw a picture of him burglarizing a home on a Snohomish County crime Facebook page, she called the cops and sent him to jail.

"You could just see the looks on the sheriffs' faces," said Dottie. "They wanted to just hug me. This drug is the devil. It grabs a hold of our kids and it's hard for them to get away from it."

Snohomish County has just 32 detox beds for the thousands of addicts in the community. For those who want help, the process can be long. Many simply give up.

That's why Dottie is taking matters into her own hands.

She teamed with more moms in her area and formed Hope Crew Outreach, teaming up with other moms to spread hope to those who have all but lost it.

Their motto: Love them as they are.
  
The moms pass out basic food, clothing and hygiene items to those on the streets of Snohomish County.

Meagan April-Niva's daughter was one of them after getting hooked on opiates after a soccer injury.

"The hardest thing was to think about planning a funeral," said Meagan. "That's a thought that you have all the time. These people know someone is fighting for them, so they will fight for themselves."

But there is plenty of criticism leveled against these moms. Some say they're enabling users and not allowing them to hit rock bottom.

One addict, who gratefully accepted one of the handouts, told the mothers, "People don't like you, you know? Nobody likes anybody handing out things to the homeless."

To that, the moms simply reply they want to show the addicts love -- the way any mother would.

"A toothbrush isn't going to keep them from hitting rock bottom," said Meagan. "We're just trying to make people feel human again."


 

© 2017 KING-TV


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