Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Layla Freeman lost her daughter Ashley at just 23 years old to an opioid overdose on Christmas Eve five years ago. Layla has turned her pain into fuel to help other moms make sure they do not go through that same pain.

She set down with News on 6's Brian Dorman to discuss her daughter Ashley and the emotional journey, starting Light of Hope,  and what this historic ruling means to the opioid crisis. 

Credit: News on 6 | Brian Dorman

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

She's been gone for six years, but Monday's judgment brought up feelings in Ashley Freeman's mother that proves no amount of time can dull the hurt. "I didn't realize how emotional it was going to be today for the verdict," said Layla Freeman. Ashley was 23-years-old when her addiction to pain pills became fatal. "She struggled so much. She begged toward the end, 'If I could just stop if I could just find help,'" she said. To help others find that help, Layla founded the Light of Hope. "It was a long and very difficult isolated journey and after her passing, I knew I needed to take that experience, turn the pain into purpose and help other family members, walk alongside them," said Freeman. In addition to support groups, Light of Hope has also partnered with the DEA to go into schools to talk about addiction. With Monday's judgment, the anticipation that demands their services will only grow. "I've hired five instructors so far to go into the schools. I know that we're going to be, we'...

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Amber Murray and Kristal HcHugh are two of the faces of opioid addiction in Northeast Oklahoma. Kristal recalls suffering headaches when she was very young.

“I suffered with migraines when I was a child.” She said the doctor prescribed opioids to treat her pain. She added, “That’s kinda what they did. You had a pain and that’s how they fixed it.”

Kristal remembers how her mom had to help her take the medication. “I was so small that she had to crush the pills to put them in something for me to take them.”

Amber Murray recalls her first encounter with opioids. “I was 18 when I was prescribed pain medication.”

She said it wasn’t long before her life became a cycle of, “Fighting my pill addiction.” “Fighting withdrawals.” “Finding which doctor, I can manipulate to get my next prescription.”

Amber admits, when she couldn’t manage to get pills, she considered ending her own life. “There were times that I was withdrawing I attempted suicide and ended up in Brookhaven.”

A treatment facility isn’t w...

Friday, August 16, 2019

Light of Hope is helping women work through years of trauma with yoga. The classes are taking women back to the basics, giving them tools to rise above their pasts.

Trauma has a way of turning your world on its top and of picking up your life and shaking it until your pockets are empty. Every woman in this room knows trauma intimately. Some have lost children, others have gone through years of sexual abuse.

Light of Hope does all kinds of work for the community. Recently, employee Julie Duncan started teaching yoga classes to give people living with trauma tools they need to cope. Every week for 60 minutes, Julie takes this group back to the basics- breathing in the present together, despite the past that brought them here.

The chair-based class is every Wednesday morning at 11 a.m. There is also a mat yoga class on Monday nights.