I was driving through Rainsville, Alabama and I saw a sign that said Addicts 4 Christ. I had heard that there was a bad meth problem in the area and was interested in talking to someone who could tell me about their experience. I called the number on the sign and connected with Tina.
BW: Who started this place?
Tina: [My daughter] Katina. She went to rehab about five years ago. When she left the rehab, God started dealing with her to help other addicts. She helped NA groups, but NA has rules and regulations and you can't really teach the word of God in NA, so she started Addicts for Christ.
It has gotten big. She goes around and ministers at different churches and she's spreading the word about addicts, and how they can get help. So, I started praying and asking God how I could help Katina.
All three of my children, and my adopted daughter, have struggled with addiction. I have a hunger to help addicts. I'm a recovering addict. When I prayed and asked God how I could help Addicts 4 Christ, he led me here to a thrift store.
BW: Do you have any idea why you started using?
Tina: Well... there's a lot of reasons why I started... I was born with a cleft palate. I had never thought of myself as anything. I did not fit in. I went to nine different schools. I couldn't make friends. I was so insecure about my looks, so I done whatever I could just to fit in. I had an abortion at age 22. I lived in guilt for 20 years. I avoided reality in any way possible.
BW: Do you remember when you lost the desire to use?
Tina: There was a moment for me... My ex-husband, who I was with at the time, cooked meth. We sold it. We partied constantly at our house. My kids was seeing everything. I just told my ex-husband, "I'm done with this lifestyle. I don't want the kids in this anymore. He told me that we'd quit, but I kept finding things and I knew that he was on [drugs]. People kept driving up and he'd go out to the cars. I knew something wasn't right. I thought that if I was gonna have a new life for my children, I have to leave, so I left him and I've been clean since the day I left in March of 1994.
But my children have suffered the consequences. I have a son that's been in prison. He was there for 17 years. Katina spent some time in jail and she's been in rehab twice.
BW: Meth is big around here, right?
Tina: It's huge. I'm on the phone constantly looking for a bed for men and women. I can find beds for men all day long, but I cannot find beds for women. You have so many women who have been abused sexually, mentally and physically. They go to drugs and alcohol to escape.
So, that's what we're trying to do. We have started a Father's House fund. We're trying to raise money now so we can open a rehab facility here in Dekalb County. Right now Dekalb has no rehab facility. But we're not being supported the way we thought we would be. We thought churches would reach out and help. We do have a church and a drug store owner that are monthly supporters, but those are the only two.