(WTNH) — It’s a disease that does not discriminate.
“It can happen to anyone,” Lisa Gray said.
On June 30, 2018, she and her husband lived every parent’s worst nightmare.
“I lost my then 24-year-old firstborn son Jordan to an accidental heroin and fentanyl overdose. When he had his whole future in front of him.”
She’s turning pain into purpose.
“That morning as I said goodbye to him in the driveway of our home, I literally made a promise to him that I would continue fighting to save other individuals and families.”
Staying true to her word, Lisa founded “A Promise to Jordan” just a month after losing her son.
“We work to raise awareness of the problem of substance use disorders,” Gray said. “Help erase the stigma surrounding them and other mental health disorders.” All while giving hope that recovery is possible.
“It’s a disease of the brain, it’s not a moral failing,” Gray added.
According to the CDC, Covid-19 has caused an increase in overdose deaths nationwide.
“There were over 80,000 people in America who passed away from overdoses in 2020,” Gray said.
“A promise to Jordan” itself was also hit hard by the coronavirus. Gray said it was an adjustment, with less funding coming in and less personal community outreach. They also had to move their educational programming online. But even so, the good work never stopped.
This year has been a lonely one, a difficult one. But as we rise up and out of this pandemic, “Know that you are not alone.”
And to those suffering from substance use disorders, “There is nothing wrong with you,” Gray said. “There is help available and recovery is possible, and you can live a full, meaningful, wonderful life.”
If you need help or know someone who needs help, visit apromisetojordan.org.