Mother seeking treatment for heroin addicted son encounters long - News, Weather & Sports

Mother seeking treatment for heroin addicted son encounters long waits

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Latonya Drye Latonya Drye
Tyler Drye Tyler Drye
Amanda Newton Amanda Newton
Tony Zipple Tony Zipple

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - If you've been paying attention, you've likely heard about heroin's comeback here in Metro Louisville. Almost every day we report on arrests blamed on heroin addiction, but the criminal justice impact is only part of the problem. The spike in usage is also overwhelming the facilities treating the addicts.

Never doubt a mother's determination to help her baby even if her baby is now a 22 year old man with a powerful addiction.

"Somebody is. Somewhere, somebody is going to help us," said Latonya Drye. "I heard it in his voice he said, 'This is so annoying,' wanting to get off heroin and then having the physical desire, the craving. It just hurts. I can see he hurts."

Her son Tyler Drye has fought addiction for almost three years. He turned to heroin late last winter. Thursday, Latonya started calling treatment facilities. One was out of their reach financially, "and then the other three clinics were like, 'we have a three to four month waiting list,'" she said.

For a mother of a heroin addict who knows it's time to practice tough love, three months is far too long.

"So it would mean that we'd be separated again and then who knows in three or four months. Would he be dead?" Latonya said.

"We try to get people in as soon as possible because we know you've got to strike when the iron is hot because today they want to get in, tomorrow they may not," said Amanda Newton, Director of Marketing and Community Engagement at Seven Counties Services.

Among other services, Seven Counties provides treatment to addicts.

"I know that there are other places that may take a couple of months especially if you don't have insurance it's harder to get resources," Newton said.

Newton added even people who have insurance sometimes find inpatient treatment is not covered. Tony Zipple, president of Seven Counties, said as a community, we're going to have to find a way to get people into treatment.

"We have their lives in disarray and they find their way into shelters and all kinds of places," Zipple said. "It's really expensive to not provide better treatment for people. We're better off doing good treatment. We pay for it one way or the other."

Latonya is determined to find good treatment for at least one person.

"Let's get through this hell with gasoline drawers on," said Latonya. "We can do it. We can do it."

Newton said the Jefferson Alcohol and Drug Abuse Center - JADAC - gets people in within a couple of days and sometimes hours, regardless of if they're covered by insurance. WAVE 3 News put Latonya in touch with JADAC. Tyler will start treatment Friday morning.

If you know someone who needs treatment, you can reach JADAC at (502) 583-3951.

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