Drug program brings mother and daughter back together

By Layron Livingston - bio - email

Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

Years of drug addiction forced them apart, but eighteen months later, thanks to a breakthrough program, a mother and daughter are finally back together again. The the reunion is one for which the family will be forever grateful.

A trip to the grocery store may be ordinary for some but it is extraordinary for others. It has been a long time since Kim Burgess was able to take this kind of trip with her eleven year old daughter, Kayla.

"The day they took my daughter, I quit everything." said Kim. "I thank God CPS got in my life...because if not, I'd probably be six feet under right now."

Kim said in July 2007, her daughter Kayla was removed from her home. Kim says, since she was ten, she had smoked marijuana, just about everyday. Her meth addiction had her high at least three times a week. The addiction took it's toll on her family.

"She would have either killed herself, or I would have ran away," said Kim. "Now I just know that it's all going to be better and I'm never going to go back to way it was."

After Kayla was removed, Kim joined Drug Court, a program designed to give parents with addiction a second chance.

"It was hard because I had to leave her, said Kim. "[There were] plenty of times I cried."

"Just knowing that it was all going to get better and thinking about God, that he was with me every step of the way," said Kayla.

Kim has graduated from Drug Court. She is the program's very first graduate. She said her certificate could not have come soon enough.

"There's no greater gift that a parent can receive than reuniting with their family, and there's no greater gift a parent can give to their child than becoming a responsible, clean and sober parent," said Judge Carole Clark with the Smith County Drug Court.

It will be a journey, but at least these two can tackle it together.

"I wish I never started, but, I think I'm a better person now from what I went through," said Kim.

"I love her, and I can't imagine life without her," said Kayla.

The Smith County Drug Court Program was established in 2006. Kim Burgess was its first participant in 2007. We're told another graduation is scheduled next month.