CBS sends crew to visit meth support group (Iowa)
By JOHN MOLSEED Messenger Staff Writer
When Zoey Montgomery and Toddy Svoboda met after school Wednesday, they talked about things most junior high school students wouldn’t know. They also had a network television crew waiting for them.
The two 11-year-olds founded a support group ‘‘Kids Supporting Kids of Addicted Parents.’’
A crew from CBS news came to Fort Dodge from New York to sit in on their meeting at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church Wednesday afternoon.
At the meeting, the girls, joined by their third member, Annabel Rosburg, 11, read letters describing how meth tore apart their lives. They talked about how the drug made people around them violent, and described how their parents’ addictions left them alone and hungry for days — all while the news crew’s camera rolled.
They started the meeting reading letters to their parents and to the drug that crippled their family.
‘‘Dear meth, why did you have to ruin my life?’’ Svoboda read and signed the letter as meth’s ‘‘worst enemy.’’
Rosburg talked about how the drug impacted her mother.
‘‘You have taken her children away from her,’’ she read. ‘‘I wish my mom had never found out about you.’’
After Rosburg read, photographer Armando Cantu spoke up for the only time the crew made its presence known in the church basement room.
‘‘I’m having a hard time here,’’ he said, having Svoboda move onto the couch.
She talked about the violence that meth brought between her mom and her mom’s boyfriends.
‘‘I always tried to get in the middle and protect my mom,’’ she said.
The girls talked about finding needles and other drug paraphernalia and making excuses to miss school.
The three were thrilled their group will be thrust into the national spotlight and hope the story reaches the right viewers.
‘‘I want them to know kids can come here and talk and let out stress,’’ said Svoboda.
Rosburg hopes the story might inspire some kids in similar situations to do what she and Montgomery did.
‘‘I hope they say that it’s a good thing and that if their parents are in drugs, they can do something,’’ Rosburg said.
‘‘Hopefully we’ll touch their hearts so that they won’t want to do drugs,’’ said Montgomery.
CBS Correspondent Tracy Smith said the three girls’ stories should be shared.
‘‘These young girls are empowered and took something that could have been devastating and turned it into something positive,’’ Smith said. ‘‘That’s a good story.
‘‘Meth is obviously a problem across the country,’’ said Smith. ‘‘We know children are victims of this crisis, but we rarely hear from them.’’
Group facilitator Dixie Lovain, who is associated with the Domestic/Sexual Assault Outreach Center, said the girls have taken a bad situation and created something that can help others.
‘‘These girls had the courage to stand up and have their voices heard and overcome the shame of being the kid of someone who’s addicted.’’
Anyone wishing to join the group needs to have a parent’s permission, which often means the first in a series of long steps on the road to recovery for a parent. While three members represents a small segment of an affected population, Lovain said everything needs to start somewhere.
What started with two frustrated daughters became nationwide news.
Contact John Molseed at (515) 573-2141 or email@example.com