Susán Hoemke knows firsthand what it's like to have a loved one who is struggling with a Substance Use Disorder and addiction. A wife and mother of four, her life took an unexpected turn in the form of her son Hayden’s battle with the disease of addiction (substance use disorder) and other subsequent family tragedies that taught her—the hard way—the challenges of living with this disease. Now, she hopes to not only bring awareness and understanding to Substance Use Disorder but also to offer hope and healing after loss. Her research, experience attending rehab meetings, time spent living with an addicted loved one and losing them to overdose enables her to speak on this subject from a deeply personal perspective.
Today, Susán is an author, public speaker, Certified Life Coach (C.L.C.), owner at You Abound, creator of IMAP Life program used by ISD’s, works with Collin County Special Courts, Co-director of Time Wise Truancy Prevention program, board president of Engage Collin County, and is the owner of a product development company. She lives in McKinney, Texas, with her husband, Carl, and youngest daughter, Olivia, while her other two adult children, Landon and Miranda, live in Austin.
Watching my son Hayden struggle eight years with Substance Use Disorder/Addiction and then losing him to Heroin overdose led me to think of how to educate others about the disease.
I wrote 'I am Addiction Disease' in a first person monologue to express how substance use disorder (disease of addiction) can begin at a young age and to help educate others on drug use and drug abuse which can become an illness. I then believed the monologue needed images to further the message and to help others understand how kids/teens can begin to struggle with the disease of addiction. So, I created the video below.
I always felt like Hayden was someone else when he was using or being consumed by a sick presence. Family must become educated on drugs and have a family plan as prevention. As a society, we must let go of shame and stigma to change and save lives. I miss my son every day and hope the information I share can help your family be better prepared.
Learn about Susán’s book Healing Scarred Hearts on her author website:
Susán currently teaches IMAP across diverse forums and is a passionate speaker and panelist.
- IMAP for schools and educators
- IMAP for students and young adults
- Family to Family drug education/awareness
- Mental health and substance abuse
- Marriage during family crisis
- Recovering from the loss of a child
- Addiction and enabling
- Faith-Based Recovery
Designed to help youth and teens focus on their unique goals for the future, the I Make a Plan (IMAP) concept began as the backbone of Susán’s student presentations. Now, IMAP has evolved into an actionable tool used by educators, parents, and individuals, and the program has also been utilized by school districts in connection with Drug Awareness Week and Red Ribbon Week.
Mapping the Way to Be Drug Free