Dwyane Wade's mother preaches about perils of addiction from personal perspective

Jolinda Wade and family, including her NBA star son, Dwyane.
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Eyewitness News Anchor Andrea Morehead was invited to meet with the mother of NBA star Dwyane Wade. Jolinda Wade has been very outspoken about her long drug addiction and wanted to share her experience of how she stopped opioid abuse in the first of a two-part story.

Jolinda Wade has experienced a number of storms in her life, admittedly self-inflicted.

"When I met heroin, oh my God, we became real good buddies," she said. "It took me on a ride and run and that I couldn't explain to people."

She preaches the word of faith because it's the only thing she says that saved her soul.

"I'm settled in my spirit. I trust God, I believe God," she said.

Jolinda says she trusted in the doctor-prescribed opioids for an injury to heal her body, but they quickly became the gateway for other drugs from acid to cocaine and finally heroin.

"Immediately I think I was hooked on that first toot," she said.

She says the pull was so strong that she would be strung out for months at a time. She was homeless and living in abandoned drug houses where she almost overdosed several times.

"We had rats the size of cats that was roaming around in the place. I knew it had to be the Lord that woke me up," Wade said. "Usually the place is full of people coming up there and getting high and leaving. No one came to see about me, no one."

She says she turned to selling drugs to support the heroin addiction and eventually found herself in jail away from her four children, including a young Dwyane Wade, who was being scouted for the NBA.

"God's personal, specific, magnificent plan that he had for my life and that child of mine. He knew that He was going to take him to the NBA," Jolinda said.

The day he went pro is memorable, but not as special as the time she's been clean from a drug addiction - 16 years! A Bible verse, 2nd Timothy 3:5, gave her hope while sitting in a church pew.

"Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away."

-2 Timothy 3:5

"After I read that, Andrea, everything went silent and I start hearing that voice ministering to me. It said to me, 'You're gonna' stop denying my spirit the power to change you.'"

She then asked a friend for a ride.

"I said I gotta go to a funeral. She said, 'Who's funeral? Who died?' I said, 'I got to die. So Christ can live.' It started then. October the 14th, 2001 was the day He called me out," Jolinda said.

Wade travels the nation to share her story of redemption.

"I can't even tell you the many days I done stopped. You know, I'm through. I took the needle and I threw it away," she said.

She's not ashamed of her past and neither is her family, especially her son whose status as a public figure could have influenced her to stay silent.

"I asked him out of respect because I understand where he's coming from. I said, 'How do you feel about your mom? It's time to tell the story,'" Jolinda said.

Dwyane bought her a church in Chicago so she can continue to spread the gospel and her message that your challenging past can help others have a a better future.

"Dwyane said, he said, 'You go mom because the only thing your story is going to do, he said it's gonna' help somebody,'" Jolinda said.

In Part 2 of Pastor Jolinda Wade’s interview with Andrea Morehead, she visits a treatment center in Cicero, Indiana that provides support, hope and natural treatment for opioid addiction that patients say is working to keep them clean.

Watch that story Thursday on Eyewitness News starting at 5:00.