WJTV News Channel 12 - Families battling addiction issues reunite in Durham

Families battling addiction issues reunite in Durham

Posted: Updated:
DURHAM, N.C. -

Genna Hilbrich Vega hadn't seen her parents in two years, but for a few hours on Sunday, they laughed and cried and were side by side.

The reunion happened at TROSA – Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers – a two-year program in Durham, where Vega has lived for the past year, getting help for alcoholism.

She is one 400 people in the program. Participants generally can't see family for their first 30 days in treatment and have to work up to phone calls and visits. Vega also had to regain her parents' trust. After some tough love and two interventions, they gave her an ultimatum.

"I know everything it took for my dad to tell me over the phone, 'You can't come home anymore. You've got to clean your act up or there will be no reunions,'" she said.

As she turned to alcohol over the years, Vega says, she grew further apart from her family.

"It wasn't until my last arrest, really, previous to that, but my last arrest that I knew if I didn't do this, I'd either kill someone driving around or my life was pretty much going to end," she said. "I thought I could handle what was going on in my life, and I found myself desperate and drinking more often … Finding myself in jail was eye opening."

Vega's struggle may be all too familiar, but getting treatment is not as common. According to Duke University research, only about 13 percent of adults in Durham County who need treatment are getting it. That means 18,000 more are still in need.

"I do know there's definitely a great need out there for substance abuse treatment and particularly long-term treatment like TROSA has, where it's not just about getting clean, but it's about vocational training and education and after-care so people can make the transition out of treatment and into the community and still be successful," said Jeff Stern, TROSA's special projects director.

The treatment comes at no cost to the people who go through the program, which is paid for through donations and also businesses including a moving company and lawn care businesses TROSA runs.

That treatment is now helping Vega, a registered nurse with two degrees from Purdue University, get her life and family back together.

"My love is immense for my folks. It's who I am. So, when I look in the eyes of mom and dad, I see myself. I see every brother and sister and niece and nephew, my children," she said. "This is the beginning of the rest of my life and I'm so grateful to be here. That's what I see when I look at my mom and dad."

Justin Quesinberry

Justin is a reporter for WNCN and a North Carolina native. He has spent the better part of the last decade covering the news in central North Carolina.  More>>

  • PoliticsMore>>

  • NC GOP Senate candidates face off as early voting begins

    NC GOP Senate candidates face off as early voting begins

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:15 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:15:49 GMT
    The four top-polling Republican Senate candidates, vying to unseat Democrat Kay Hagan, debated on Wednesday night in Raleigh, the night before early voting was set to begin. The primary is May 6, but voters can start heading to the polls on Thursday.During the half hour televised debate, State House of Representatives Speaker Thom Tillis of Charlotte said he was leading a conservative revolution in Raleigh, cutting regulations and taking credit for falling unemployment numbers. Tillis faces c...
    The four top-polling Republican Senate candidates, vying to unseat Democrat Kay Hagan, debated on Wednesday night in Raleigh, the night before early voting was set to begin. The primary is May 6, but voters can start heading to the polls on Thursday.During the half hour televised debate, State House of Representatives Speaker Thom Tillis of Charlotte said he was leading a conservative revolution in Raleigh, cutting regulations and taking credit for falling unemployment numbers. Tillis faces c...
  • Committee proposes rules for drone use in NC

    Committee proposes rules for drone use in NC

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 4:58 PM EDT2014-04-23 20:58:27 GMT
    A legislative committee approved a set of regulations that it hopes will calm people's fears about the use of drones while allowing the industry to flourish.
    A legislative committee approved a set of regulations that it hopes will calm people's fears about the use of drones while allowing the industry to flourish.
  • Republican NC Senate candidates meet in debate

    Republican NC Senate candidates meet in debate

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 2:24 PM EDT2014-04-23 18:24:44 GMT
    Thom Tillis largely shrugged off criticism about aspects of his legislative record from one of the three other candidates participating in their first television debate.
    Thom Tillis largely shrugged off criticism about aspects of his legislative record from one of the three other candidates participating in their first television debate.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Mom bites off dog's ear to save daughter during attack

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:49 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:49:19 GMT
    Image from CNN/KHOU-TVImage from CNN/KHOU-TV
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
    In a backyard in Alvin, swings a very lucky girl. Her name is Mackenzi Plass, or Kenzi for short, and she survived a dog attack and has undergone several surgeries."She'll be two and a half in May," said her very proud mother Chelsi Camp. "She's doing great. You wouldn't know it if you couldn't see."Mackenzi has scars on her face after the ordeal just weeks ago that put her mother's animal instincts to the test."You do whatever you can," said Camp. "I don't have physical strength at my side."...
  • Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Owner of Raleigh 'Party Mansion' guilty of tax evasion

    Monday, April 14 2014 4:07 PM EDT2014-04-14 20:07:04 GMT
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
    Claude Verbal II, who now lives in Miami, pleads guilty to a number of federal tax evasion charges.
  • Piedmont Farm Tour

    Piedmont Farm Tour

    Piedmont Farm Tour

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 12:25 PM EDT2014-04-23 16:25:38 GMT
    The 2014 Piedmont Farm Tour is happening April 26-27 from 2-6pm both days! Come learn about the Triangle’s local and organic farm food scene. Meet local farmers tour their farms!View ourGoogle Interactive Mapfor alist ofthe exceptional farms on the tour this year – with driving directions!Download a PDF of theFarm Tour Brochure - Farm tour maps, directions and descriptions of all the fun things to do at each farm! How to Take the Piedmont Farm Tour Load up a car with your friends andfamily...
    The 2014 Piedmont Farm Tour is happening April 26-27 from 2-6pm both days! Come learn about the Triangle’s local and organic farm food scene. Meet local farmers tour their farms!View ourGoogle Interactive Mapfor alist ofthe exceptional farms on the tour this year – with driving directions!Download a PDF of theFarm Tour Brochure - Farm tour maps, directions and descriptions of all the fun things to do at each farm! How to Take the Piedmont Farm Tour Load up a car with your friends andfamily...
Powered by WorldNow

1820 TV Road
Jackson, MS 39204

Telephone: 601.372.6311
Fax: 804.819.5569
Email: wjtvnews@wjtv.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.