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30 Days to a Safer Neighborhood: Drug Recovery

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Harmony Mafield (right) started using drugs at age 11. Finally when she was 21 she decided to get clean, but getting the help she needed wasn't easy. Harmony Mafield (right) started using drugs at age 11. Finally when she was 21 she decided to get clean, but getting the help she needed wasn't easy.
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Harmony Mafield, 25, started using drugs at age 11. Finally when she was 21 she decided to get clean, but getting the help she needed wasn't easy.

"As life went on it progressed from marijuana to drinking and pills and towards the end when I was 21 years old I was doing heroin," explained Mafield.

When Mafield was 21 she decided it was time to get clean, and told her mother, Michelle Swearingen, that she had been struggling with a drug addiction for 10 years.

"You just don't know until its you. Until your kid comes to you and says, 'mom, I've been using drugs and I need your help," said Swearingen.

Swearingen said she immediately began looking for somewhere or someone to help her daughter, but it was a hard process.

"We wanted her to go someplace that night that would give her help. The very next day they did get us in to see a crisis worker, but it was just more paperwork and them telling us that she was going to have to wait for an open bed," Swearingen said.

After a month of waiting, Mafield was accepted into a 30-day rehab facility.

"If they are looking for help, I think we need to try to find a way to make that help more available than what it is," said Swearingen.

Once she came back home she relapsed, but went to a different six month rehab facility again in 2012 and this time it worked.

"I stayed in the six month program for me, not for anybody else. It was counseling and talking about my problems and just focusing on myself," Mafield explained.

She has been clean ever since and she thanks church, family, and an organization she's involved in: the Project SLB Foundation.

"That's been one of the biggest things to help me along because not on a monthly basis it's something that we talk about its something we talk about every day. Me being able to help other people is one of those things that really has helped me along with what I'm doing," Mafield said.

Swearingen and Mayfield said that Project SLB is working to erase the stigmas attached to addiction and mental health issues, and they want to spread the word that addiction is a disease.

Mafield had one piece of advice for anyone going through addiction.

"Before anything can be done you have to have that self assurance that you want to do it for yourself and not for anybody else," Mafield said.

Project SLB focuses on suicide prevention and awareness. Both Mafield and Swearingen are involved and help anyone going through addiction.

Project SLB was started by Mafield's aunt, Tricia Kyers, after her son committed suicide.