MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) — Two Middle Tennessee mothers are now friends for life.
“It was a God thing,” said Tammie Elkins. “It was a blessing. We would have never met any other way.”
It’s a bond that formed through tragedy.
“At first, we didn’t want to live,” said Terri Myers. “We didn’t want to die, but we didn’t want to go on.”
Meyers and Elkins both lost their sons on December 31, 2017 to opioid overdoses involving fentanyl.
Each new year is a painful reminder.
“I’m about to enter another year where my son’s not here,” Elkins said.
Meyer’s son Andrew was 26 and Elkin’s son Matthew Cotter was 24. Both battled opioid addiction for about six years.
“It’s an addiction that’s so hard to fight,” Myers said.
It’s a fight the mothers say they are now trying to help others with.
They’ve formed the support group OD Hope to create a safe space for parents who’ve lost their children to substance abuse.
“A group, a place, where families, moms and dads who have lost kids can support each other, laugh together, cry together,” Elkins said.
Last year, there were more than 1,800 overdose deaths in Tennessee, according to the Tennessee Department of Health. More than 1,300 were opioid overdoses.
“There’s the stigma of admitting to other people that your son or daughter had a drug addiction or a substance abuse disorder,” Myers said.
The mothers hope their new support group will be a safe space for parents to heal.
“Come in and know that it’s going to be a safe space and know that we’ll be right there waiting for them,” Elkins said.
OD Hope will hold its next meeting January 8, 2020 at 6 p.m. at 520 West Lytle Street, Murfreesboro, Tenn.
For more information, call Tammie Elkins at (615) 430-5603 or Terri Myers at (615) 482-6107.