Hiking Appalachian Trail helps teen get sober

By Amy Mariani, Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, May 23, 2016, 4:17 PM EDT

If Heidi Jorg didn’t do something soon, she was afraid she’d lose her daughter.

  • Heidi Jorg quit her job to hike the Appalachian Trail with her daughter and her son Jake
  • Jorg’s 18-year-old daughter Elly Jorg-Weyde has struggled with drugs and alcohol since she was 13 years old
  • Her mom says her daughter is now 100 percent clean

“I knew if I would’ve stayed home she would’ve left again,” Jorg said. “I couldn’t get (her) to rehab fast enough.”

Jorg’s 18-year-old daughter Elly Jorg-Weyde has struggled with drugs and alcohol since she was 13 years old. In the past few months, Jorg said, her daughter started using harder drugs.

“She was like smoking meth and shooting heroin,” she said.

Jorg quit her job and decided to hike the Appalachian Trail with her daughter and her son Jake. They started their journey at the beginning of May and try to hike a few miles a day.

“I think it’s working,” Jorg said. “She’s clean, she’s 100 percent clean right now.”

Jorg-Weyde said she’s gotten clarity on the trail that she hasn’t had in a long time.

“I feel so much better,” she said. “I have way more motivation than I thought I ever would. It made me extremely humble.”

Kent Runyon with Novus Medical Detox Center said everyone’s road to recovery is different. Runyon has worked with people struggling with addiction for more than 20 years.

“They have to take action and recovery is so individualized,” he said. “What works for someone may not work for another. It has to be individualized because addiction is so complex.”

Jorge and her daughter know this hike is not the final solution. They say it’s a start and puts her head in the right place to continue an outpatient treatment when she gets back.

“I’ve found an appreciation in the little things so much,” she said. “It’s so much more enjoyable. It’s so great.”

Jorg has started a GoFundMe campaign: (https://www.gofundme.com/22sb8m2s) to help with expenses along their journey. They hope to hike at least 130 miles. Jorg-Weyde said she wants to eventually complete the entire trail.

Note: This Gofundme.com site is not managed by Bay News 9. For more information on how the site works and the rules visit: http://www.gofundme.com/safety.