Susan Beasley Blog, People Facing Addiction

My journey started on 3/28/1989 at 9:13 p.m., when my son Matthew Hayes was born. He was premature and during the first few weeks of his life he was very sick. He was sick and near death many times. Through those trying times, I turned to my faith in God to pull us both through. I knew that God had a plan for us both.

In the spring of 2010, Matt came to me and told me he was misuing Percocet. During high school, I felt in my heart he was “experimenting.” The signs were there. I even randomly drug tested him, but he was always clean. Looking back, I now know why. There was always a friend with him with clean urine.

I was so naive that I couldn’t see or believe that my son was addicted. My husband and I talked often about how addiction was nothing more than a choice. I have learned so much over the last seven years. Matt was in a toxic relationship in 2010. Between the drugs and the relationship, he ended up in jail for assault. I immediately found a detox facility and after what I thought was tough love bailed him out after a few nights in jail.

After completing the detox, he landed into a long term facility. I knew my son was heading back to me. He lasted in the facility for about four months. I was a nervous wreck when he came home. He landed a job soon. We were both so proud. That joy ended the same day. Two hours after he was hired, I received the call at work. It was the call mothers of sick loved ones dread.

Matt had overdosed and it didn’t look good. After a couple days on a ventilator, our God intervened again and saved my son. The day he came home from the hospital was a day of hope but also the hardest day of my life. My husband refused to let him live with us any longer. My son was homeless for the first time. The last seven years, we both have lived in hell here on earth. It would have been easy to lose faith. But faith is all I had keeping me sane and Matt safe.

While Matt has been in and out of treatment centers, detox facilities, sober living, and living in his car or on the streets, I too have lived it. His relationship with his natural father has not been good over the years. He is and will always be Matt’s hero. Their strained relationship is a trigger for Matt. However, I feel I am the reason he wasn’t succeeding. I am his enabler. I was slowly killing my son. When I looked at my son, I saw him dying, and I know that enabling him brought him closer to death. I made excuses for my behavior. I gave him money. It only made it easier for him to buy drugs.

Susan BeasleyOur whole family is broken by this sickness. We each have our own opinion of whether addiction is a disease or a choice. Today, my choice is to help save my son by saving myself first. I currently have temporary custody of both of his children, who are one year old and 10 weeks old. They are my rocks!

Through this journey, I have met many people in different organizations. I am fortunate to have many warriors in my corner. I am active in our local chapter of Parents of Addicted Loved Ones and am a cofounder of a group we call HEROES (Helping Educate by Reaching Out Ending Stigma). We are just a little over a year strong, but are making strides in our small community. One of our biggest events to date was Narcan training for 92 people, including our local police officers and sheriffs.

Where is Matt now? After three overdoses from June 25, 2016 to September 26, 2016, I filed Casey’s Law on him. I am so thankful for Charlotte Wethington for her courage to lobby for this law named for her son, Casey, who lost his battle. My son was ordered to complete up to 360 consecutive days or complete the six month program that I found for him.

On October 10, 2016, he entered the program. Not only did he complete the program but is staying an additional three months to work as a peer mentor! For today, I will enjoy this moment and support Matt on his path of recovery!


  • MsVickie

    So happy for you!

  • Tanya Smith

    I remember when Matt was born just like it was yesterday. I can still see you bringing him into the office so small. Matt is a good young man with a big heart who got caught up in this horrible drug world. It is hard to let our babies make the mistakes we know will take them down a datk path. You are an amazing mother doing great work to bring awareness.
    I contine to pray for your family.

  • Bert Merriman

    Thanks for sharing your story and I am hoping for great success for you, Matt and all the rest of your family.

  • Carolyn Bon

    The only reason I read this was to find out what Casey’s Law is, there was no explanation. Who is paying for this 360 days, how do you manage financially to care for his children,and where is their mother? Hopefully Matt, by Gods Grace recovers and becomes the productive man and father his higher power planned. We do recover but We are never cured. We are blessed.

    • Cindy Armstrong Roof

      Casey’s Law refers to the Matthew Casey Wethington Act for Substance Abuse Intervention. The law became effective in Kentucky in 2004 and was inspired by Casey Wethington’s death of a heroin overdose at age 23.

      The law allows the parents, relatives, or friends of an addicted person to lawfully intervene and request involuntary, court-ordered addiction treatment for their addicted loved one.

      For more information on Casey’s Law, download this brochure or visit the Casey’s Law website.

      Click here for the STEPS involved in Casey’s Law.

      1. You (the petitioner) must complete this petition.
      2. File the petition with your county’s circuit clerk.
      3. The court will review the petition, take an “under oath” statement from you, and make a decision.
      4. If the court agrees that there is probable cause to proceed with the process, the addicted person will be notified and a hearing will occur within two weeks.
      5. The addicted person will be assessed by two healthcare professionals, one of which must be a physician.
      6. The court will decide whether or not the addicted person must complete involuntary addiction treatment (duration of treatment: between 60 days and 360 days).
      7. You (the petitioner) will then be responsible for (A) locating a treatment facility and (B) paying for the addicted person’s treatment if fees apply.

  • Gerri Spencer

    Praise God, you didn’t loose faith, it only made you stronger. Matt walked through the valley of the shadow of death, thankful that He walked through. Tough love is so hard, but loving with a Christ-like love allows us to love unconditionally. May God continue to bless you and your family and may Matt’s light shine to show others what God can do. Be Blessed!!

  • Lisa Sisco Germaine

    Thank you for sharing! Matt, you are still here because your life, regardless of its twists and turns, has purpose and meaning. I believe in you! God bless <3