It can be very challenging to see a parent struggling with addiction. You have all of these tragic memories of seeing your parents at their weakest point and feel helpless as a child to do anything about it. Basketball player Dwyane Wade was able to help his mother, Jolinda, through her addiction as an adult and continued to support her with his unending love for her.

What was Jolinda’s Addiction Like When Wade was a Child?

When Wade was a baby, his parents divorced. Because Jolina was a low-income single mother on the south side of Chicago, she succumbed to heroin, cocaine, and alcohol addiction. She would get access to free drugs by volunteering to test drugs for impurities before they were sold on the streets. Wade and his siblings would always see Jolinda deal, use drugs, and leave for long periods of time. Wade would pray that his mother would come back to them safely. When Wade was sent to live with his father at the age of eight, Jolinda’s addiction worsened where she would spend time lost in the streets. Wade’s aunt would find her in locations like jail, halfway houses, and foreclosed homes. 

Jolinda almost died when she shot herself up with a needle that contained an unknown substance. In 1994, Jolinda was arrested for cocaine possession with the intent to sell. She would be very emotional when Wade would visit her. When she was released as part of a work-release program, Jolinda would continue her drug addiction. It was not until 2001 after watching Wade play basketball during his sophomore year that she had an epiphany at a church service and turned herself in. She was released nine months later. 

How Did Religion and Wade Help Jolinda Stay Clean?

No matter how many times Jolinda failed him, Wade was always there for his mother. While Jolinda was in prison, she had visions of being a pastor. She studied ministry when she was released and served as a minister in 2002 and 2003. Jolinda was ordained as a Baptist minister in 2007. She has been clean ever since 2003. To support his mother’s ties to religion, Wade gave his mother his own church called The Temple of Praise. By trusting her faith and making something of her life, Jolinda was able to sober herself up and be a good example that Wade always wanted her to be.

Located in Georgetown, Texas, Alma Loma is a transformative living center to help those struggling in early recovery to transition out of our Psychiatric and Substance Abuse residential center. Alma Loma believes that addiction is born from an untreated mental illness in which our facility is willing to help you. Our facility offers residency, medication management education, individualized treatment, life skills education, 12-step support, and more tools to bring patients the confidence to be able to live an independent life. For more information, please call us at 866-457-3843.


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