Addict’s Mom Gala Raises Quarter Million in Scholarships

By John Lavitt 01/21/15

A gala held at the Florida Addiction Symposium aims to help mothers with addicted children gain access to treatment.

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Photo via Maria Matthews

At the post-Addiction VIP Symposium Gala, a lifetime achievement award was given to Barbara Theodosiou, the founder of The Addict’s Mom support group. Orchestrated by Charles Davis of Rehab Rescue and Cali Estes of The Addictions Coach, organizations attending the symposium donated over $250,000 in scholarships. The goal was to help 20,000 mothers with children that suffer from addiction access the support and resources that they need.

Lyle Fried, CEO of The Shores Treatment sponsored the event as the Co-Chair of the event with Charles Davis. When asked why he chose to make such an investment, Lyle Fried explained, "It was the right thing to do." Charles Davis and Cali Estes have put on two professional networking events with the Addiction VIP Symposium being the most successful. The latest event had over 55 exhibitors and 240 attendees.

As the founder of The Addict’s Mom, Barbara Theodosiou was thrilled by the success of the event and the money raised for scholarships. In an interview with Maria Shriver, she described the purpose of the group and how it evolved:

“In the last six years, The Addict’s Mom has grown from a small group on Facebook to almost 20,000 members and we expect to more than double our membership this year. We have developed a website, specialized Facebook groups, fan pages, LinkedIn groups, Google Hangouts and in late January 2014, we opened 10 national grassroots support groups across the United States...The Addict’s Mom is a forum that encourages personal change and healing by empowering the mothers of addicts through awareness and education of the true facts of addiction.”

The Addict’s Mom partners with organizations such as Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) and National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) who work tirelessly to improve the laws and the treatment of those whose lives have been touched by the disease of addiction. Through the help of Davis and the gala at the Addiction VIP Symposium, the group’s reach will be extended and more families in trouble will be helped.

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Growing up in Manhattan as a stutterer, John Lavitt discovered that writing was the best way to express himself when the words would not come. After graduating with honors from Brown University, he lived on the Greek island of Patmos, studying with his mentor, the late American poet Robert Lax. As a writer, John’s published work includes three articles in Chicken Soup For The Soul volumes and poems in multiple poetry journals and compilations. Active in recovery, John has been the Treatment Professional News Editor for The Fix. Since 2015, he has published over 500 articles on the addiction and recovery news website. Today, he lives in Los Angeles, trying his best to be happy and creative. Find John on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.