EXETER, ONT. -- Kathy Marys spends far too much of her time worrying about her daughter overdosing on drugs.

“I’ve had phone calls in the middle of the night. Thank goodness they weren’t that phone call, but that call could come if things don’t change,” says the Exeter mother.

For the past 10 years, Marys' 27-year-old daughter has been battling drug addiction. She’s been in and out of jail, and hospitals, and drug counselling, with only brief glimpses of who she used to be.

“She’s the nicest person you would ever want to meet when she’s not using. When she’s using, it’s scary,” says Marys, who is also raising her daughter’s daughter.

Right now, Marys doesn’t know exactly where her daughter is. At last contact, she was living on the streets of Exeter, sometimes London.

“I worry about her everyday. I worry that she’s going to be somewhere where nobody can help her and she’s going to overdose, or she’s going to do other things that are scary because they don’t know what they’re doing when they’re in their drug psychosis. They hear voices and they tell her to do things. I’ve almost lost her on more than one occasion,” she says.

What Marys would like to see is something between a hospital and jail, that helps addicts turn their lives around.

“I’d like to see a separate jail from the Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre that has people in her situation and any other drug-induced situation. There’s a need everywhere for that,” she believes.

South Huron Mayor George Finch is part of Huron County’s new Homelessness Task Force.

“I think we’re in the 21st century and we should be able to find some solutions to it. What those solutions are, I don’t know myself, but I think we all need to work together to solve these problems,” he says.

“It’s rampant. It goes along with mental health, addiction and homelessness. There’s too much of it and something has to change,” says Marys.