My life has been forever altered by the presence of the disease of addiction in my family. Like every other parent who has children with SUD, my life was consumed with the fear of them dying, and with trying everything in my power to facilitate or direct their recovery. Like every other parent who has children with this disease, my life spiraled out of control, with the anger, frustration and helplessness of failed attempt after failed attempt to “fix things”. It is a long, arduous, dark journey.
Today, I feel much different than years ago, when I first started dealing with the disease in my family. It is because of so many wonderful people who have shared their experience and knowledge and have led me to the point of understanding that giving it up to God, getting out of the way and letting happen what needs to happen to allow the addict to get to the point of wanting recovery more than wanting the high from the drug – is a much higher and deeper form of love for my child than the co-dependent behaviors that drove me crazy in the past. Today I can truly say that I love my children more than ever before, whether they are “clean” or not. I hate the disease, but I love and accept my children for the beautiful person(s) they are.
Brenda (my beautiful wife) and I have walked this journey together. It has become her passion to “give back”, knowing through personal experience what chaos and “hell” dealing with addiction can be for a family. We started The Addict’s Parents United as a vehicle for both of us to give back to and support our community of parents, to help them find recovery when life as they knew it, has been devastated by this disease.
In 2015, Tony led the grassroots organizational effort against the marijuana legalization initiative in Ohio. He worked closely with community groups, legislators and the “No on 3” political campaign to coordinate messaging and campaign opportunities. The campaign was ultimately successful by defeating the marijuana legalization ballot question by a 64-36 margin.
Prior to joining Drug Free Action Alliance, Tony worked with Ohio’s First Lady Hope Taft on drug prevention issues and also served as the Legislative Director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services under Governor Ted Strickland, where he was the chief lobbyist for the $20 billion agency. He also served as the Assistant Communications Director for the agency in this role.
Tony graduated with his BA in Communications from the University of Toledo.
Tony is the Assistant Director of Drug Free Action Alliance, a statewide non-profit focused on the prevention of drug use and abuse across the lifespan. In this role, Tony serves as the policy director for behavioral health issues for the agency and also is a registered lobbyist in the State of Ohio. Tony was appointed to the Ohio Medical Marijuana Committee in 2016 by Governor John R. Kasich, a 14-member group providing insight and expertise to the rule-making process for medical marijuana in the State of Ohio and also is the Chairman of the Ohio Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) affiliate.
Morgan has extensive experience in the world of recovery. She is in long term recovery and has a daughter who suffers with a Substance Use Disorder (SUD). Having a loved one who has a SUD is challenging and requires skill and consistency to make sure you are not making it easier for the loved one to continue use,” making it easier” is typically called enabling however it is a term that Morgan does not use; she likes to think it as clearing the path for her daughter so she can get closer to recovery.
Greg was instrumental in the launch and the ongoing development, of the CHAMPIONS NETWORK (http://therefugeohio.org/champions-network), a coordinated and collaborative network of qualified individuals, community-based services, ministries and churches created in partnership with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and dedicated to sharing CHRIST and ministering to the addicted in our local communities. Greg also serves as a FAITH collaborator with some of Governor Kasich’s Faith-Based Initiatives teams like “Start-Talking”.
Greg also is the Founder and Recovery Coach for the JEREMIAH TREE, a Greene County non-profit ministry whose mission is connecting people to CHRIST and to resources. Greg is also blessed to serve on the boards of SAFE HARBOR, WOMEN’S RECOVERY CENTER of GREENE COUNTY, T.J. Place of Hope, and the TAP (The Addicts Parents) Program and represents the FAITH community on the Greene County Opiate Task Force and the Greene County Coalition for Drug Prevention.
Greg is the author of an on-going weekday BLOG called “Opportunities for Hope” (http://pastorgfreedomchurch.blogspot.com/) which offers messages of encouragement and recovery to its readers and subscribers. He also hosts a WEEKLY radio show of the same name broadcast on 90.9 in Lancaster, Ohio.
Greg is an active member and advocate for the recovering community, a graduate of Wright State University, and has been married to his wife Elizabeth for 26 years and is father to Hillary (24), Samantha (21) and Ian (14).
Morgan attends a parent support group and NarAnon meetings to keep herself on the path to her own recovery. These meetings have helped her define boundaries so that her daughter’s SUD does not interfere with her own life. This has been one of the bigger challenges she has dealt with as a parent. It goes against everything she thought a “good parent” should do.
Morgan is a retired licensed school counselor who spent most of her career (25 years) in the urban school districts in Georgia and Ohio. This experience has exposed her to poverty, neglect, and violence. Many times substance use or abuse is a part of these issues that increase the level of risk for the students to develop their own Substance Use Disorders or unhealthy coping skills.
Morgan received a BS in education from Capital University and is certified to teach Special Education K-12 and Elementary Education grades 1-8. She received a Master of Science in Education and Allied Professions and a Masters in Community Counseling from The University of Dayton. She participates in Continuing Education opportunities as often as she can in a variety of topics: Human Trafficking, Women and Violence, and Trauma. She is particularly interested in the connection between Trauma and Addiction and hopes to become more educated in this area to assist getting to what she believes to be “the root of addiction”
Morgan is a CASA Guardian Ad Litem for children that are in the foster care system. Her main responsibility is to advocate in court for her client(s) that are currently in foster care with the main goal being reunited with their parents. She has also participated in Street Outreach with the Salvation Army in their Human Trafficking Program. Additionally she volunteered for 10 years at OSU Talbot Hall sharing her message of recovery with patients in the detox unit.
She is currently employed as an Intensive Outpatient counselor at Legacy Freedom Treatment Center which is a holistic mindfulness based outpatient treatment center in Grandview Ohio and has a small private practice at Trinity Family Counseling in Westerville Ohio.
She is an advocate for decreasing the stigma that is associated with addiction has a passion to educate parents on this issue and is continuously speaking to whoever will listen to her about the opiate epidemic in our country that needs to be addressed.
Pastor Greg Delaney
Current Outreach Coordinator WOODHAVEN “a safe place to recover”
Recently served as the Chief Collaboration Officer for REFUGE Ministries (www.therefugeohio.org).
MARK A. STEWART
I am currently starting my retirement after being the President and co-owner of TRANSInternational System, a family owned transportation and logistics company founded in 1975. I attended Miami University of Ohio from 1966 – 1970, majoring in Business Psychology. I have two sons from a previous marriage, and two step sons and one step daughter from my current marriage to Brenda Stewart. Of those five children, we have three who have struggled with the disease of addiction. Different drugs of choice (heroin, methamphetamine, alcohol), but same disease.