Norwalk mom gains back her life following drug problem, jail sentence

She credits part of her success to a jail program designed to help people recover from life-controlling issues.
Aaron Krause
Feb 1, 2013

 

Heather D’Angelo thought she lost everything when a judge sentenced her to almost six months in the Huron County Jail.

She was “super depressed” and an overwhelming feeling enveloped her.

D’Angelo, who was abusing prescription drugs with alcohol for about six months when she was arrested, spent the time reading self-help books about addiction and exercising when she could. But for two or three months, she couldn’t get out of bed.

“The one tool they did give me was Lifeline,” D’Angelo said.

“They” are Pastors David and Tammy Webb, of Kingdom Life International Ministries. The couple offer a program at the jail called Lifeline Connection that tries to help people to recover from life-controlling issues.

“It had saved my life,” said D’Angelo, who not only continues to take the class but goes to church.

“I know this town has a major drug epidemic and just wanted to get the word out that there are other options besides just jail and/or a treatment facility right here in our town,” the Norwalk resident said.

The Webbs “offer several classes and a support system to keep you sober for the rest of your life,” D’Angelo said. D’Angelo’s parents were heroin addicts when she was growing up in Texas. “I’ve seen the turmoil and the control that opiates have on people,” the 27-year-old woman said. “They were abusing that every day.” D’Angelo added there were times her parents chose to spend money on drugs rather than necessities.

Her parents divorced when she was 8 and she would split her time between Texas and Florida.

“It was terrible,” D’Angelo said. “It was not good for my social skills or anything like that.” When she was 15, she had her own apartment.

Her mother was addicted to drugs to the point that she couldn’t take care of her. D’Angelo had suffered from anxiety and depression her entire life and turned to abusing prescription pills and washing them down with alcohol. About six months into her addiction, she got caught by police and was arrested. Sometime after starting her sentence in jail, D’Angelo learned about Lifeline Connection from a fellow inmate. She attended and liked the atmosphere.

“If you’re not there to try to get help, they would rather you not waste their time,” D’Angelo said about the Webbs.

The program includes more than 30 workbooks focusing on life-controlling problems such as alcohol, drugs, gambling, anger, depression and abusive relationships. The program is geared toward each individual’s recovery plan.

“She (Tammy Webb) sits down with you and makes goals,” D’Angelo said.

D’Angelo has been clean since April 25 — the date she started the program.

The mother of two, however, doesn’t plan to quit the program anytime soon.

“I feel like I can get something from every single class,” said the stepmother of Ethan, 5, and mom of Madison, 3. “I feel incredible. I feel really at peace with myself.”

D’Angelo is now a co-facilitator of Lifeline Connection. She is training to become a facilitator.

“There’s a heartfelt change in her as far not only wanting to get help for herself but wanting to reach out and help other people,” David Webb said.

Comments

Yall Make Me Sick

Congrats keep up the great work!!!

LookingDown

she is a lucky one only doing it for 6 mths! Good Luck

truckin

are you sure she was lucky?? if she was a herion addict and broke into homes she wouldn't have served 6 weeks let alone 6 months.. Atleast that is how it seems..but still a nice story, just wondering how it's news worthy? I read a newspaper for news. Hear nothing about the lies of gov officials, nothing about local corruption, how it seems everyone who has a city/county job has a trail of some political connection, brother sister grandson of someone. Someone who donated big. or some "pillar" of the community, Who got a cushy job with no needed skills and at the public dole struts around like they are above the "common" taxpayer. The funniest thing is these soles actually feel they are needed to keep the world going. Look at DMV if it wasn't because of a law to register your car, collect tax, they wouldn't have a job. County inspector? If some law didn't require the state to inspect a silly fence i put up in my yard or what color i am going to paint my garage,and then have to buy a permit, they wouldn't have a job. Basically there are so many smuck's who has employment with income from fee's taxes permits and yet they really feel they are superior and some big shot with there position. Am i the only one thst see's this.??

Yall Make Me Sick

Stop being a Debbie Downer! Just be happy for her. You very seldom hear good coming out of drug addiction stories!!!!!

onegirlarmy

You got that right Yall.
Good for you Heather!
Good for your children!!
Keep going !!!
God Bless

Yall Make Me Sick

Thank you! Onegirlarmy!

csnighthawk

Thumbs up Yall.

LookingDown

yes lucky that she only did it for 6 mths and is going on a year being clean........looks like the odds are on her side......I do know what you are saying. But I was looking at it as her getting clean not as some smuck getting rich...

truckin

I just got carried away with all the city political corruption i have been experiencing lately. As far as story.. My god she was addicted to pain killers? and etc. Nothing hard core. Heck Rush Limbaugh has been off his addiction.. Never seen a good article on him in this paper

methodman

whaa whaa whaa. Oh poor rush. Oh poor truckin, go ahead, paint your garage pink. Just like your opinions, it won't matter. By the way, congrats to you and your family girl.

tadpole

Good on you, girl! Best wishes for a good future.

Kottage Kat

God bless you on the journey

CAST THE FIRST STONE

good job and keep it up. life is good

All taken

Good job. Hope you can be a role model for many of the drug users in this county. Best of luck to you!!!

four

Truckin when medicine develops a brain transplant please seek treatment! This young life has been spared from addiction,
GOD BLESS HER.WE COULD BE READING AN OBITUARY.GREAT JOB WE HAVE ALL JUST READ ABOUT A MIRACLE AND WITNESSED A LIFE BEING SPARED.
Good luck to you and I hope you have continued success in controlling your addiction.

Cliff Cannon

Heather: Please keep being a beautiful success story. If the challenges,that you've faced in growing up as well as your ability to overcome them,doesn't inspire people. Then they either aren't listening, or they don't have a heart. God bless, and ----PLEASE--- continue to use your great courage to help as many addicts,become former addicts as possible !

saxkris

CONGRATS!

swiss family

good for you.... I would say though, that with the little I know for certain about addiction.. I do not think that any of the "sponsors" encourage any of the addicts to try to go out and change the world with their knew found knowledge.. I understand that you feel free, for the first time in a long time, and you want to share the good word to as many addicts as you can reach, But I think, and I believe that the programs encourage you to concentrate on you for awhile, because although you are doing great , a setback by seeing one of your "people" relapse, could send you into a tailspin I heard it explained as being like wet cement... right now, you are set in place, with the tools that you need and the strength that you are building, but you are not solid at this point to be a foundation for someone to build on... take time for you... let yourself get a solid foundation before you try to save anyone else, you are worth it...

Kottage Kat

Hope the paper will continue to make periodic reports on the progress she is making.
God bless you heather.