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'I found myself again, and I can be what she deserves,' mom says

Erica Bailey graduates from a recovery program. She first entered the public eye in July 2017 after a child neglect arrest in South Charleston. (WCHS/WVAH)

Erica Bailey hasn’t done drugs in nearly nine months which is something she never thought she would hear during her 15 years abusing heroin and methamphetamine.

“It’s a very selfish thing,” Bailey said. “You are a slave to that drug.”

Bailey came to a breaking point when she was arrested in July 2017 and charged with neglecting her 3-year-old daughter, Ryker. Bailey said she was trying to take Ryker to the carnival, but ended up dragging her along a South Charleston riverbank instead.

“I was high, so I don’t really know why I got off the bus there,” Bailey said.

Ryker joined her mom on stage as she celebrated graduation from the Lifehouse Recovery Program in Huntington Monday. Hundreds of recovering addicts cheered her accomplishment.

Lifehouse Founder Rocky Meadows said Bailey has been clean for nearly nine months, she has a full-time job and has an apartment to call home.

“She really did it man,” Meadows said. “We’re really excited for her. We’re really impressed with the work she’s put in and how far she’s come.”

More importantly, Bailey said, the child neglect charge was dropped and she will get full custody of her daughter on May 22.

“I found myself again, and I can be what she deserves,” Bailey said.

Bailey said anyone can get clean, and her story could provide the catalyst they need to seek help.

“There is help, and there is hope,” she said.

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