Opioid Verdict A Bittersweet Victory For Mom Who Lost Daughter To Addiction
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've already had quite a few schools reach out to us beyond what we already service, and that we're going to be needing to hire more instructors," she said. As for the message she hopes big pharma takes from court loss? "I know its all about money. But I hope that they realize the effect that they've had on the families. It's not just an individual that's addicted it's the entire family structure that we have damaged in society today," she said.
Credit: Tulsa KTUL Channel 8 | Burt Mummolo