Eight years ago, Krystal lost her mother to cancer. Krystal was only 17 and already struggling with anxiety. Her mother’s death was the final blow.

To numb the pain, Krystal began using alcohol and drugs. Neither helped with Krystal’s anger or anxiety; both nearly cost her the rest of her family.

Over the years, Krystal’s substance abuse damaged her relationships with her father, grandmother … and even her son.

When the Missouri Division of Family Services stepped in, Krystal knew she needed to make a change.

“It woke me up,” she said.

Krystal soon sought substance abuse treatment from one of Heartland Center’s CSTAR programs.

“I needed to do it for my son … and my mom,” she said. “I wanted to be a good role model for my little sister and show my dad that people can change.”

And change Krystal did.