Ohio Moms Fight Addiction Stigma On US Summer Tour

By Victoria Kim 06/27/17

The stigma-fighting duo plan to hit churches, schools, libraries, and more in 13 states and 20 cities to share their message.

Tonda DaRe
Tonda DaRe is one of the moms making the cross-country trip to raise awareness Photo via YouTube

Two Ohio moms are embarking on a cross-country journey to stamp out addiction stigma and spread the word that recovery is possible.

Tonda DaRe and Marcie Miller will hit the road this Thursday (June 29). The two moms are behind the support group Holly’s Song of Hope—named for DaRe’s daughter Holly who died of a drug overdose in October 2012. Miller’s daughter also wrestled with drug addiction for six years, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

The pair plans to hit churches, schools, libraries, and more in 13 states and 20 cities, including Atlanta, Boston and Nashville. Their upcoming events are listed on the Facebook page of Holly’s Song of Hope, where they will also post updates from the trip. They expect to be back in Ohio by mid-August.

At each stop, they’ll present Addiction 101, an educational presentation designed to address the stigma surrounding drug addiction—such as the belief that addiction is a character flaw and reflective of bad morals. “If we get people to understand this disease, then we can make a real difference in what’s happening,” said DaRe, according to the Dispatch.

The moms also want to inspire people who are struggling and let them know that recovery is possible. “We are just two moms trying to make a difference in an epidemic that many believe has nothing to do with them,” said Miller. “We have no idea where this will lead us, but if we save one life on this journey or bring comfort to someone in need, then it will be worth it.”

In May, the Dispatch reported that 2016’s drug overdose death toll exceeded 4,149—a 36% increase from 3,050 in 2015. And 2017 is already on track to exceed last year’s numbers, driven by powerful synthetic opioids like fentanyl and carfentanil that are many times stronger than heroin.

The women are determined to carry out their journey, and are ready for whatever challenges it may throw their way. “We have no idea if we have enough money to do this, but since God put it on my heart to do it, I know he’ll take care of whatever we need,” said DaRe.

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr