Reports on One Mother's Mission to End Ohio Heroin Crisis

Press Release ( - Hilliard, Ohio - Sep 10, 2016 - “What in your life is so bad that you had to go to heroin?” Gretchen Addison asked her son Tyler. “Mom, it’s not that,” he said. “I had no idea what I was getting into.” 

These words haunted Addison after Tyler, 21, died of a heroin overdose in 2014.

“I am very grateful for God’s mercy and grace to allow me to be a part, however small, in these young people’s lives.”

Gretchen Addison, Mother of Tyler and drug prevention volunteer

As much as she wanted to hate Tyler’s friend who sold him his fatal dose, she couldn’t because of her Christian faith—the faith that sustained her while she searched for something to fill the void in her life.

Deciding to make sure kids have the information that would have saved Tyler, she is visits Central Ohio schools, using the Truth About Drugs curriculum of the Foundation for a Drug-Free World.

“I am very grateful for God’s mercy and grace to allow me to be a part, however small, in these young people’s lives,” she told the Foundation after one of her lectures.

One young woman who was abusing Percocet told her, “After your story, I’m stopping drugs.” She has been clean for several months now. Her mother wasn’t as fortunate. She has since died of an overdose. “If it hadn’t been for your presentation, I’d be gone,” the girl told Addison later.

A tough-looking teen with an ankle monitor (he was on parole), came over in tears to tell her, “I will never touch this stuff ever.”

Ohio is in a heroin crisis. Nearly 300 overdoses have been reported around Cincinnati since August 19. There were 247 overdoses and 21 deaths in Akron in the month of July.

“The Truth About Drugs in the hands of people like Gretchen can prevent so many heartbreaks and save so many futures,” says Bari Berger, Humanitarian Programs Coordinator for the Church of Scientology International, which supports the Foundation and provides its educational materials free of charge to anyone wishing to use them. “Getting the Truth About Drugs materials out in the community can mean the difference between life and death.”

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