HOUSTON – August 31st is International Overdose Awareness Day, a time for the world to come together to put an end to overdoses and pay tribute to the lives lost.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 136 people in the U.S. die from opioid overdoses each day.
This Sunday, ahead of International Overdose Awareness Day the mothers and founders of Montgomery County Overdose Prevention Endeavor, also known as M-COPE will host their annual 2022 overdose awareness day event. The event is for anyone, and everyone impacted by drugs.
The mothers say it’s a time to educate, raise awareness, talk about prevention and available resources, and reflect on lives lost to overdoses.
“We didn’t realize the extent of things,” said Kathy Posey, who lost her son Josh to an overdose.
Sherry Barton had one son, Chance, who overdosed and died. “There is such a stigma, people do not want to bring it up.”
Sarah Hall’s son Ethan died from an overdose. “This is the stuff your nightmares are made out of…”
Kimberly Rosinski son Stephen also died because of addiction. “I knew he was in a bad place, he would kind of stay away, and then he called me one day and said, ‘Mom I need help.’ He was 24 when he passed, October 22, 2019.”
Stephen was nine days out of rehab.
“He came home October 13, 2019, and was just happy and excited and had all these hopes and dreams to start a new life and start over, he was never going back there,” Ronsinski said. He overdosed the first time he relapsed, and I found him on my couch.”
“My son was 29 years old. He passed, he was found.” Barton said. “I love him and I miss him.”
“A month to the day before he passed away, he ran a half marathon, he was ninth in his age group, he was so proud of himself,” explained Posey who lost her son Josh on May 2, 2017, at the age of 23.
“At last count, there were about 12 overdoses, until the fatal one.” Posey said.
Hall’s son Ethan was known as ‘Beefy Boy.’ He was an aspiring musician, got addicted to prescription pills, and died.
“We had no idea about the pills, he smoked pot, it was a regular battle at our house, but the other drugs, no idea at all.” Hall explained.
These four women met at a Houston Grief Recovery After Substance Passing (GRASP) meeting.
“It’s a special group where you can get together and talk about things that happened through your journey and it is with someone who knows and understands.”, Hall said.
The four ladies found M-COPE, Montgomery County Overdose Prevention Endeavor, where Posey said the four pillars are education, awareness, prevention and remembrance.
While these women lost their children to overdoses, their hope is to save yours.
For perspective, there has been an almost 300-percent increase in fatal drug overdoses in Montgomery County since 2020, this is according to a Montgomery County official.
M-COPE’S 2022 Overdose Awareness Day will take place this Sunday, August 28th from 4 PM – 8 PM at The Woodlands Methodist Church.
There will be several guest speakers and reps from several different resources including the training on the administration of Narcan. Attendees will be able to take home a free kit. Governor Abbott is expected to attend and speak.