Drugs Destroy One Family, Creates Another - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Drugs Destroy One Family, Creates Another

YAKIMA, Wash -- The sound of children playing and enjoying themselves is a welcomed sound for Julie Cruz.

She began raising her six grandsons after their mother and her daughter's drug addiction became too much. But the adjustment has been a struggle.    

"Oh they have extreme aggression, escalated behavior," said Cruz.

One child struggles with bipolar disorder. All have needed counseling and have trouble trusting adults

Phillip Smith, now fourteen, came to his grandmother as a troubled seven-year-old. Now she sees his problems in his younger brothers.  

"They've gone through the same things I've be going through in my life."  

Now a freshman at Davis High School, he is getting good grades and is trying to help his younger brothers.

And Cruz is trying to help other grandparents in her position. She works with the Casey foundation --  a non profit that works with families in the welfare system -- to help other grandparents in a similar situation.

She credits the support of others in the success of her grandchildren. "They've come along because other people listened, other people believed in them. And now they are succeeding."