In March 2017, the Brunswick Opioid Task Force sought input from family members who had been impacted by the opioid epidemic they were facing. The views of impacted families along with information from law enforcement, mental health advocates and medical providers became a part of the task force and a group within was formed as a support group now known as B.A.C.K.O.F.F. = Bringing Addiction Crisis Knowledge Offering Families Focus

B.A.C.K O.F.F

Who is B.A.C.K.O.F.F?

B.A.C.K.O.F.F. is a focus group formed to bring awareness, education and support to those whose lives are affected by addiction in Brunswick County, North Carolina. B.A.C.K.O.F.F. was started in Brunswick County, NC as a focus group of moms who have lost children to addiction; or who have children in recovery or in active addiction.

The group’s purpose is to help others dealing with children, family or friends affected by the disease of addiction. They also support local programs fighting for recovery. They partner with North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition to get Narcan into the hands of families at risk. Kathy Williams works closely with North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition in setting up kit making parties.

They have started a flyer campaign “Know the Law – Make the Call” to spread awareness of the Good Samaritan Law which is a law in NC that offers limited immunity to those who call 911 to save the life in the event of an overdose. Their members have posted flyers in businesses throughout Brunswick County to spread awareness and hopefully save lives.

People in recovery are welcome to share their stories and experiences through various outlets offered by the group with the knowledge that doing so may help others to know they are not alone in their struggles. They intend to reach out and get the word of addiction crisis out by sharing their own experiences as well.

B.A.C.K.O.F.F.’s mission is to bring awareness to the people of their community while offering help in any way possible.

Advocate – “We advocate for a greater understanding of the disease of addiction; to end stigma and save lives. We are working to promote changes in our county to create more effective programs and be better prepared when addressing the problem in a way that will better serve our community.”

They are expanding! The Greenville S.C Chapter has joined in this fight and they anticipate other chapters forming in counties throughout North Carolina.

They invite you to join their Facebook page(s) as well. B.A.C.K.O.F.F.OF BRUNSWICK and B.A.C.K.O.F.F. GREENVILLE. If someone needs extra support, they are invited to send a private message to a core member directly.

MEET THE FOUNDERS

Karen Stanley

My name is Karen. I lost my sister to an overdose in 2011. It was the worst thing I’ve ever been through. She left behind a daughter who was 14 at the time. I have a family member who has survived an overdose and one who is struggling every day. I joined B.A.C.K.O.F.F to be there for a others who need support. To offer them resources, a shoulder to lean on, Narcan kits, hugs and most of all my prayers. Praying that no others will have to go through this hurt. I hope it’s not too long before this crisis ends.

Becky Gore

My name is Becky and I’m the mom of a recovering addict. There were so many times I felt so alone. My friend Patti told me about back off. I contacted them and got involved. This group has been my saving grace. I was asked to become a core member and I was honored. It is our mission to help raise awareness and be a support system for those that need it. God bless us all!

Linda Lafferty

April 1, 2017 a day I feared the most and prayed would never happen was happening. A detective and a Chaplin stood on my steps and I knew why they were there. As they came in my home I fell apart my baby girl 27 years old would never walk through my door again, she was the victim of death due to drug use. Ashley Renee’ Adlar ,my sunshine, my life .Ashley did not die because of heroin or street drugs but because of prescription drugs and an abusive relationship which led to her death. A death that should have never happened a beautiful person taken hearts forever broken. I joined B.A.C.K.O.F.F. because I have never seen such compassionate, kind, loving and supportive people as I have found in this group. I have learned I am not alone and we walk together supporting one another, educating people and fighting against drug addiction.

Donna Holden Fulford

I lost my son to an overdose, I watched him struggle and go through pure hell with his addiction and the things it does to a person and families. I am determined to help others struggling with this monster disease. My son would expect nothing less. My hope is to save as many lives as possible.

Elizabeth “Kathy” Williams

My name is Elizabeth Williams….but to friends and family I am Kathy…I am a mother who buried both her children…I lost my son in a car wreck along with his wife and my two grandsons ages 9 and six on March 8,2011. My daughter who was close to them and always battled addiction did not handle it well. Although my son and his wife were touched by addiction also they help keep her from going down the rabbit hole to far. After they passed she fell so deep into addiction that herion became her drug of choice. I did everything I knew to do at the time to no avail. Two days after her sons 13th birthday she passed away from an overdose…Dec 5th, 2016. I later learned that it was straight fentenal. She was left alone and her possessions taken by people she thought were friends. No one thought enough of her, my baby girl, to call 911. I learned a lesson that day..the next time an addict uses could be their last and really that people in addiction don’t really have friends..they have people they use with.

I hope to see the day when we no longer have to send the word out to members that we need hugs and prayers. This group gives us a way to honor our loved ones and I hope that the education, the information and resources will prevent another momma from burying a child..I am a broken person but the glue that holds me together for my daughters son and my only surviving grandson is that we will make a difference if we all combine our stories and sooner or later mad mommas will make a difference.

Tom Sherman

My name is Tom I have been working with people in crisis for a years. I helped bring celebrate recovery to Brunswick County. I work with people in the drug courts also. After dealing with addiction with my children I wanted to help others as they have to deal with it. They along with their families need support. My heart is in helping the hurting. One life saved is another family held together.

Melody Bass

Melody.. I live with addiction daily my son struggles right along with thousands of others. I also lost a nephew whom I raised in 2013. We wanted a support group right here in our county that was easy to reach and there for people. We support not on the families put nonprofit organizations such as The Anchor Initiative by BCSD , BCRC ,any way we can help by volunteering and spreading awareness. Change I believe starts with community involvement. We are the community, let’s be the change!

For more information, to join or to begin a B.A.C.K.O.F.F. chapter in your community please contact one of the core members of the group:

*Tom Sherman 910-540-6797

*Melody Bass 910-269-9293

*Karen Stanley 910-880-2610

*Donna Holden 910-620-6842

*Kathy Williams 910-612-3241

Heather Clemmons 910-880-8223

Becky Gore 910-228-1499

[*Founding Members]