WARSAW — Dreanna Yoder’s deep dive into addiction was about as fast and intense as one can imagine.
Yoder recalls being a brooding 15-year-old filled with angst when she began using pot and pills.
Soon, a better job and more money fueled her drug use until she began feeling the pains of withdrawal if she went without using.
After seven years, she was living in a car, jumping from house to house and doing about four grams of both heroin and methamphetamine a day.
The breaking point came when the car she was living in — and all of her belongs — were stolen.
That’s when her mother, Sarah Lockridge, invited her to come home and get sober.
Now, at the age of 23, Yoder is 15 months sober and continues to work an intense program that includes Narcotics Annonymous, Celebrate Recovery, a Christ-centered recovery program, church activities and counseling.
But the biggest factor has been the Medication Assistance Treatment program available through Bowen Recovery Center in Fort Wayne.
“That place is phenomenal. It saved my daughter’s life,” Lockridge said.
Yoder’s MAT program relies on the use of Methadone, and for many months, involved a daily trip with her mother to Fort Wayne where she would take the liquid drug onsite.
Methadone is used to treat opiate addictions, especially involving heroin, and enables addicts to effectively manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms, according to AmericanAddictionCenters.org.
Lockridge often attends 12-step meetings with Dreanna, and through her daughter’s experience, has seen the recovery process up close. Recovering addicts, she said, are the hardest fighters she knows.
That intense interest led to an idea that came after church one day. It was something, she said, God “laid on my heart.”
Her goal is simple: Provide everyone who is in an addiction recovery home in Kosciusko County with a collection of necessities that they request such as coats, shoes, toiletries, socks or bras.
At New Life Christian Church, where they attend church, Pastor John Lowe said he was impressed with the idea and invited Lockridge to present her pitch to the church on a recent Sunday. Within a day, they collected $3,000.
Her hope is to purchase, wrap and distribute the items to the seven recovery houses (91 beds) ahead of the holidays. She said she wants to provide $100 worth of items for each resident.
Yoder likes the idea of providing basic necessities because addicts who hit rock bottom or are released from jail sometimes have few belongings.
“When you have exhausted all your resources, you don’t feel like anyone cares,” Yoder said.
Lowe is challenging other churches to support the mission.
“We’re just trying to encourage the community to take a step up,” said Lowe who works with many addicts and inmates through his work with the church.
The fundraising effort is also an opportunity for Lockridge to speak out against the stereotypes associated with Methadone use and addiction in general.
“Although some do relapse, it doesn’t mean that seed’s not planted,” Lockridge said. “I have such a heart for addicts. I just want to let them know that I love them, I care about them. That God loves them because no matter what, God loves us no matter where we are.”
There are two ways to contribute. Lockridge has a Facebook page set up to collect donations. Or search S.O.S. – Save Our Sobriety on Facebook to find it. The other way is to write a check to A Bridge to Hope at 301 N. Lake St, Suite 5, Warsaw, IN 46580. The check should be marked SOS in the memo line.
As of Monday, they had collected $5,455. Lockridge set a deadline of Dec. 1, but said on Facebook that they will continue to Dec. 25. Questions can be sent to Lockridge at [email protected]