Parents Of Heroin-Addicted Daughter Use Christmas Light Show To Raise Awareness

By Brent McCluskey 12/16/15

One family that has struggled with addiction wants everyone to know that there is a way out.

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For years the Kurtz family have put on a dazzling light show in Bel Air, Md., but this Christmas they're using the festivities to raise awareness on drug addiction.

“Takes about two weeks,” said Jim Kurtz. “This year we’re up to 16,000 lights. It’s all controlled from one tiny little laptop that sits in my dining room.”

Jim and Helen Kurtz are parents to their 23-year-old daughter Caroline, who is recovering from heroin addiction. Now, they're are putting addiction in the spotlight.

“Before the next song begins, we’d like to take a few seconds to bring focus to the tens of thousands of Americans who suffer from the disease of addiction,” said a prerecorded voice during the light show.

The Kurtz family has wanted to raise awareness for addiction for some time, but decided this holiday season they were finally going to do it.

“We’ve been dealing with our daughter’s drug addiction for a few years now and we thought, we finally became brave enough to put it out there,” said Helen. “It’s a slow road, you know, it’s a road out of hell, but you can get out.”

Caroline is on her road to recovery and is currently living in a halfway house, but will still be joining her family for Christmas. For her parents, it’s nothing short of a miracle.

“The one thing we always said was that it could not happen to us,” Jim said. “And that’s the one takeaway you need to be aware of, it can happen to you, addiction can happen to anyone, it’s not choosy about who it happens to.”

The Kurtz family are happy and doing well, and they hope their light show will bring a smile to those who watch it.

“People will drive up and park and watch them for 15 to 20 minutes, and they just drive away happy,” said Jim.

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Brent McCluskey is a Social Media Editor at International Business Times as well as a Jedi with Sith tendencies.  He is also a reader of books, slayer of dragons, and level 80 mage.

“Yeah, I have a broad skill set. If I had to pick between being a Divergent or a wizard, I'd pick a wizard.”  His wizardness can be found on Twitter and Linkedin.