Mother travels as advocate for drug addiction recovery

SOUTHAVEN, MS (WMC) - One Ohio mom is on a mission, traveling the country to help bring awareness to heroin addiction after her daughter died from an overdose.

Holly DaRe was a recovered heroin addict, but after a year of being clean, one more use turned fatal.

"She thought she could use what she used to and it killed her in an instant," said her mother Tonda.

Tonda had trouble coping with her daughter's death.

"I spent a year and a half curled up in a ball on the couch sobbing," Tonda said.

That's when Tonda decided to start Holly's Song of Hope, an organization that started in Ohio, offering support for family members and those who suffer from addiction.

Tonda then took it on the road, calling it Addiction 101.

She recently stopped in Southaven at the Turning Point Recovery Center, helping those like Tanner Wilson, a recovering heroin addict who said she's survived six overdoses.

"I've cheated death six times," Tanner said. "That is crazy to think about."

DeSoto County is one of Mississippi's top counties for heroin overdoses, related to the outgrowth problem in Shelby County.

Heroin overdoses kill more than 10,000 users a year on average, according to the CDC.

But programs like Turning Point help rehab users through therapy, coaching, and skill training.

"I have a passion for this because it truly is an epidemic, it is," Tanner said. "It is everywhere. Turning Point has saved my life, bottom line. I mean that. "

Tonda hopes to make such an impact on her journey, changing the stigma of heroin one heart at a time.

"Whether you think addiction has affected you in your family or not, it has," Tonda said.

Tonda will be speaking at the Turning Point graduation ceremony on Friday, July 7 at 1 p.m. to the graduates and families of those who have suffered from addiction.

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