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Light Notes: A cry for help transforms drug-addicted mom

Lucy Luginbill, Tri-City Herald on

Published in Religious News

In spite of this kind of help, her life continued in a downward spiral that led to three children, a failed marriage -- including loss of child visitation rights -- and a lot more jail time.

Life wasn't pretty -- nor was Alisha. An arrest photo in 2001 captures the dead stare of a gaunt, hopeless young woman.

But when she moved from Albany, Ore. to Tri-Cities, Wash., with her then-divorced mom, Alisha thought she could start over. Still, the past -- and her habit -- dogged her steps, resulting in more jail time. Eventually, though, drug counseling began to have some effect.

"I thought I was doing pretty well because I was holding down a job and only used meth on my days off," Alisha said, recalling her skewed perspective.

Without much effort she had connected with new drug-using friends. However, one night as she mingled with her regular crowd she spontaneously jumped into a car with some guys she didn't know. Before the joyride in the stolen vehicle was over, Alisha found herself in the middle of a standoff with police, a sawed-off shotgun within arms reach.

Fortunately, one policeman recognized the trembling and weeping young woman, a victim of her spontaneous decision. Knowing Alisha had been out of trouble for quite some time, he decided to give her a break.

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"He looked me in the eye and he said, 'Let this be a wake-up call,' " Alisha said, remembering the straight-talking moment on the almost deadly night.

Alone in her apartment the next morning, the broken woman kneeled beside her bed and cried out to God, pleading for a second chance. A feeling of love, forgiveness and comfort was immediate.

"It was a presence that I felt, an assurance I didn't have to go it alone," Alisha said.

Filled with newfound courage and purpose, Alisha called her drug and alcohol counselors knowing the consequences of admitting her drug use. She was arrested shortly thereafter, and the uphill journey began with six months in the Benton County jail.

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