How One Mother Helped Her Daughter to Recovery

From left to right: Becky Hayes-Heckman, Anna Hayes and Anna’s daughter

From left to right: Becky Hayes-Heckman, Anna Hayes and Anna’s daughter

When Becky Hayes-Heckman found out her daughter was using heroin in 2014, she panicked. She wanted to help, so she took her daughter, Anna, to the emergency room, where she was given Suboxone to help control her addiction. Everything was paid for out-of-pocket, including the weekly in-house therapy sessions Anna began attending after her emergency intake.

Eventually, Anna stopped seeking treatment but continued asking for money. When Becky realized Anna was not using the money for bills, she stopped providing financial support. Desperate in her addiction, Anna began stealing checks from her mom to buy drugs.

“I didn’t know how to be honest,” Anna says. “I loved my mom and she loved me, but there was a separation.”

Despite this, Becky knew that turning away her daughter wasn’t the answer. Instead, she encouraged Anna to continue treatment. Anna agreed to go to a 30-day treatment program in Florida. While she was gone, Becky took care of Anna’s then 2-year-old daughter. She hoped that when Anna returned home, she would remain clean and could take care of her daughter again.  

But as soon as Anna returned home to Ohio, she was picked up by her ex-boyfriend, who supplied her with heroin. A few days later, Becky got a call from her granddaughter’s daycare. No one picked her up that day. Becky tried calling Anna, but there was no answer. She drove to Anna’s apartment, and when she walked inside, she saw Anna lying unconscious on the ground. She overdosed.

Anna Hayes and her daughter

Anna Hayes and her daughter

Becky called 911. When police arrived on the scene, they found narcotics in the home. Scared for her daughter’s life, Becky pressed charges against Anna, hoping it would lead to a solution.

“I remember being in the car with my mom after my relapse,” Anna says. “I was scared she was going to hate me or be disappointed. But she just hugged me and said ‘it’s okay, it’s going to take a few times.’”

After the relapse, Anna still struggled with her addiction. She spent multiple periods of time in jail, as well as two four-month stays at Talbert House Adapt and two two-month stays at Crossroad’s Chaney Allen program.

Some of Anna’s family members grew distant. And the situation impacted Anna’s daughter, who now asks questions. However, through it all, Becky remained supportive of her daughter. They talked on the phone at least once a day.

“My love for Anna has never wavered,” she says. “My trust has, but not my love.”

Becky says the Chaney Allen program, combined with her support, became a turning point for her daughter. Anna agrees.

“I was finally able to realize [my mom] wasn’t going anywhere,” Anna says. “That love and support was what made me get clean.”

Anna has now been clean for over one year, and her relationship with her mom is stronger than before. As a mother, Becky advises others who have family members struggling with addiction. She says to not turn your backs.

“If you have to hold on to that last thread of love, do it. That’s what’s going to get [those with addiction] through it,” she says.