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STOP THE VIOLENCE: Finding a better option

Just last week several local pastors met to discuss how to stop the violence in the area.
They feel it is up to the community to band together to make a change.
But a woman we spoke with today, who was once caught up in the "crime community", says it's tough to get out.

Channel 3's Amber Southard spoke to her, and has more on how she turned her life around.

Linda Knobles is a recovering drug addict.
She says growing up her home life wasn't very favorable.

When she was 18 she tried heroin for the first time.
"I thought I could sell it without getting hooked on it, but eventually I got hooked on it."

Then when she was 23 she went with her mother to California and traded her heroin addition for crack cocaine.
She says her addiction was the driving force for bad behavior.

"I robbed people to get the help what I needed, I stole money, I sold my body. It was just hard."

She eventually made her way back to Pensacola and was arrested in 2007 on possession charges and violating probation.
"I'm not proud of what I did, but I can't say that I didn't enjoy it because I did enjoy getting high."

She spent three months in jail and with her daughters help was able to kick her bad habits.
"You can't help yourself if you don't want no help."

Now Linda spends her time mentoring youth, letting them know there are other options.
"It's sad that these kids are out there with these guns and trying to do these drugs, selling the drugs to make money. Instead of trying to do a yard and help themselves, or get into a program."

She says she doesn't have the answers to stop the violence in our area but, believes if everyone helped one another our community as a whole can over come any challenges.
"Let them know that there is more in life then being out there doing drugs, selling drugs, killing each other, gang banging, there is a better life out there then that."

If you need any information about drug rehabilitation you can always visit the Lakeview Center.