By Ada Haines

Ada is a Shatterproof Ambassador, working to educate and empower others to support Shatterproof’s mission. Here is her story.

As the mother to a son who suffers from an addiction to heroin, I know firsthand how hard it can be to find help. I was desperately searching, always trying to find someone who could direct me on the right path. I also needed someone to understand what I was going through. I needed to reach out – but to who?

Then one day I caught a local news report – someone rapelling from a building to raise funds for Shatterproof.  I quickly became interested and found the Shatterproof website.

Tears came to my eyes. I felt like I was home. It was everything I needed. Before I found Shatterproof I had a hard time sharing my story. It was so hard to watch my son suffering with addiction. We would spend endless nights lying awake, texting him, begging him to come home, not knowing where he was or if he was dead or alive. 

Shatterproof was there for me during a particularly difficult time. I’ll never forget the phone call I made to them.  Here is what I heard after sharing my experience: “It takes a strong, loving mother to pour her heart out to everyone and tell them the truth about addiction and what it has done to her family. Ada, Shatterproof stands with you. BE STRONG”!

At that moment something clicked in my head. She was right! I knew then it was high time to fight for my son and my family. I had to end the stigma. 

I am now a proud Ambassador for Shatterproof.  I’ve attended an opiate epidemic forum, where I met Shatterproof’s founder Gary Mendell and other Ambassadors.  I’ve participated in state panels, offered my written testimony, and I’ve met many elected officials and caring people from different state agencies. This has changed my life. I am not the same person I was before I found Shatterproof. Shatterproof has given me strength and hope—and the ability to face another day to end the stigma of this devastating disease.