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The following is an archived video story. The text content of that video story is available below for reference. The original video has been deleted and is no longer available.

Helping Young Addicts: TJ's Place of Hope Plans Second Location

WEST CARROLLTON-- Reports often capture numbers and details of heroin overdose deaths and addiction rates in the Miami Valley, but what's being done about the root of the issue-- kids getting and staying addicted to drugs?
TJ's Place of Hope, a Centerville organization opening a second location in West Carrollton, is hoping to provide a safe place for kids and teens to recover after rehab.

TJ's Place of Hope was founded after the death of a Centerville teenager who was battling a narcotics addiction.

"He was a crack addict. It was his drug of choice," said Greg Crabtree, TJ's father, and the founder of TJ's Place of Hope.

TJ Whitehead was just 18 years old and fresh out of rehab when he took his own life in 2005.

"For an 18 year old young man, no place to go except back to his friends--start up his old habits," explained Greg, "For an addict it's not a matter of starting over again, it's starting where you left off."

Out of the tragic death of his son, Greg started TJ's Place as a non-profit. The organization started giving kids and teens ages 12-25 a safe place to talk about their addictions with peers, and find healthy alternatives to recreational drug use. Their first location in Centerville sees a rotation of 50 young people. A second location will open on Friday, August 22nd on North Elm Street in West Carrollton, next to the Valor Martial Arts studio, in memory of Matt Young.

"Matt had struggled with addiction since probably the age of 13," recalled Matt's mother Julie, "He started when a friend taught him how to inhale freon out of air conditioners."

Julie was taking martial arts at Valor to deal with the stress of Matt's addictions. When his drug use ultimately led to Matt's death, he was just like TJ, 43 days out of rehab and unaware of a safe place to recover.

"If we had known about it at the time, it might have helped Matt," Julie said about TJ's Place.

Valor Martial Arts donated their empty West Carrollton space to TJ's Place of Hope in remembrance of their grieving student's son.

Now both Greg and Julie hope talking about Matt and TJ will help save the lives of more young people.

"If losing," said Julie pausing to control her emotions, "If somebody could be helped because of something that has come out of [Matt's] passing, than that can't be a bad thing."

"I know TJ wanted to be a sober person," Greg added.

Services at TJ's Place of Hope are free.

The organization has planned a grand opening street celebration with food and music outside their second location, 23 North Elm Street in West Carrollton, Friday August 22nd from 5 to 8pm.

 
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