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Drug abuse during the holidays

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December 14, 2007

Albany - Drug abuse tears families apart and that pain is magnified during the holidays. One Albany woman is struggling to deal with her son's addiction, and fears disaster this Christmas.

It's obvious family is important to Pearl Richardson. She's surrounded by pictures of those who mean the most to her, including her son Tony. "I'm trying to help him," she said, "I'm his momma."

But even his mother may not be able to get him the help he needs. "He's on that cocaine. On that cocaine."  She said, "He was with one of his friends and they started and he tried it and he just liked it."

And she suspects his drug use has led him to other crimes. He's been locked up before for stealing a car and family violence. Now, the Chevy Blazer that she loaned him to drive back and forth to work, is missing. "I can't find the car," she said.  

And she's not sure where her son is either. But the last report she got wasn't good. "He was sleeping in an old abandoned house."

Now, with less than two weeks left until Christmas, she fears the worst will happen to him, a permanent separation from her son. "It's sad, just sad. Somebody's going to kill my poor son in the street," said Richardson.  "I'm getting ready for a funeral. Something's going to happen."

But before it does, she hopes her son will turn his life around. "I want somebody to help him." So she can celebrate this Christmas with joy and not spend it in mourning.

Richardson has reported her car missing to police. She was able to get the keys back from her son, but she no longer knows where to find him.

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