By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With drug addiction and overdoses on the rise in Pennsylvania (see related story), many families are struggling to get help for their loved ones.  And a new group, “The Addict’s Mom,” is providing support.

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The group started in Florida six years ago as an online community in which mothers of drug addicts could share their stories.

Now there are more than 20,000 members on the group’s web site (, with chapters in dozens of states.   One of the newest chapters was formed right here in Pennsylvania by a woman who lives in the Rhawnhurst section of Northeast Philadelphia.

“My son is an addict — he’s 24 years old and he’s a heroin addict, and I was looking for support,” says Carol Rostucher, who says she stumbled upon The Addict’s Mom and then wanted to bring it to Pennsylvania.

“There’s not a lot of support out there, because of the stigma,” Rostucher notes.  “Everybody still looks at an addict like they’re a bum, they live under a bridge.  But there are doctors who are addicts, nurses who are addicts, and while some addicts are homeless, not all are yet.  People are ashamed of it.”

Rostucher’s son is living on the streets right now, dealing with his addiction.

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“When he’s in recovery he’s a great person — he’s funny, he’s full of life, he’d help anyone,” says Rostucher.  “But when he’s using, he’s a different person.  He’d steal the shirt off your back for the next high.”

Rostucher, who also has a 15-year-old son, started the Pennsylvania chapter of The Addict’s Mom last month.  In just a few weeks the Facebook page has more than 200 members.

“People share about trying to get their kids into detox, how to get their kid to want to go to detox,” she says.  “They share what’s going on in their life while (their kids) are going through detox.   Sometimes they don’t bounce right back to being your kid again; sometimes they have an attitude and they’re nasty.  So it’s just about sharing all the different stages along this journey.”

Rostucher says the local group meets at the recreation center at the corner of Bustleton and Solly Avenues in Northeast Philadelphia the first Tuesday of every month.  She says the statewide group will hold a rally in Harrisburg on May 17th.

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