Local family weighs in on helping loved ones who struggle with substance abuse


On Monday evenings in February, abc27 Information is analyzing the resurgence of the opioid epidemic in Pennsylvania. Final week, a dialogue about how the COVID-19 pandemic has played a major part in the ongoing, statewide struggle with opioids and drug addiction. This week, abc27 Alicia Richards’ elaborates on assist a beloved one who struggles with substance abuse dysfunction.


One of the crucial tough challenges a household can face helps a beloved one with a substance use dysfunction.

“Lots of people are very shocked to be taught that we had no thought,” Laurie Wicks, of Mechanicsburg, stated.

Wicks describes her son, Keegan, as “superb,” however as Keegan grew into his teen years he wasn’t so certain he felt that method about himself.

“I didn’t really feel comfy being who I used to be. It was actually only a sense of feeling totally different and feeling like folks didn’t perceive,” Keegan stated.

Wicks’ son had been experimenting with substances that ultimately was an habit involving prescription medicines and heroin.

Whereas Keegan used proper at residence, his mother says, “He was complying together with his curfews, he was getting his college work executed, he was social and lively.”

It got here to a head Christmas morning when Keegan was 17 and a pupil at Cumberland Valley Excessive College. His mother and father seen that money for a donation was lacking.

“It was terrifying. It was very scary,” Wicks recollects.

Keegan admitted to taking the cash and that he was addicted. He was additionally managing a prognosis of scientific melancholy.

“This can be a story of hope in that restoration actually is feasible,” Keegan stated.

Keegan obtained intensive therapy for nearly a yr and a half and it labored.

Wicks says she did three issues proper in her household’s scenario. First, she sought rapid skilled intervention. Second, she grew to become knowledgeable in regards to the science of habit and restoration. Lastly, she practiced self-care.

The pandemic has been tough on Keegan, having digital remedy classes and lacking in-person involvement within the restoration neighborhood. Alternatively, he says, he’s been capable of converse nearly with others in restoration from as distant as London. 

Wicks will get emotional speaking about what her son endured.

“He’s, uh, right here we go. Yeah. What a incredible human,” Wicks stated.

Keegan is now 29 and a restoration assist specialist. He and his mother converse nationally about their story of hope. He’s additionally engaged and a brand new house owner.

However the place can different Pennsylvanians flip to make that preliminary name for assist? The specialists urge indviduals combating substance abuse issues to name this nationwide hotline: 1-800-662-HELP.

They are saying callers gained’t get the runaround they usually gained’t should cope with insurance coverage points. An professional will reply and shortly present the assistance a person or their beloved one wants.

Moreover, Wicks affords a texting choice for folks. It’s run by a peer assist group. To hunt assist, textual content CONNECT to 55753.


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