MAPDA, a 501(c)3 charity, was created by a small group of mothers who were each struggling with the tragic consequences of prescription drug abuse or active substance use disorders. They had a shared desire to spare other parents this pain; a desire to find solace from others; and the resolve to demand action.
When MAPDA began in 2011, the opioid epidemic was a mostly silent, hidden killer. But as we spoke publicly about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, more and more parents from around the country began contacting us. They too, share the same desires for solace and action. Since our founding, hundreds of thousands more lives have been lost to this preventable epidemic.
At first, the problem was diverted Oxycontin. That soon became a non-ending flood of other prescription opioids into our communities and our homes. No family seemed immune. No corner of our country spared. Overdose death rates were climbing at an ever-faster rate. Access to treatment became a battle cry for those hoping to overcome their substance use disorders.
As parents, the stigma that is all too often associated with the disease of addiction can be extremely debilitation. That is why we work hard to end stigma, whether it be of the patient or of the family.
Let's get this straight: No one chooses to become addicted. It is not a moral failing. It is a disease.
The new challenges have become uber-powerful and potent opioids, like fentanyl and its analogues. Our challenge is never-ending.
Drawing by Chris Straughan- A Victim of Methadone Poisoning