Changing the Stigma surrounding Addiction One Heart at a Time ~ through Education and Understanding!
Holly's Song of Hope was created on June 25, 2014 as a place for friends and family of Holly Noel to share stories, photos and heroin related news. It was a place to remember her, grieve for her and share our outrage over the heroin epidemic sweeping the country.
But as they say... "The fastest way to make God laugh is to tell him about your plans"!
We have no idea how it happened but suddenly we had friends of friends bringing people in and before we knew it complete strangers from across the globe! HSOH took on a life of it's own and in one year had over 1,000 members!!
Our members consist of those actively using, in recovery, many who love an addict and many who know nothing about addiction but come to us to learn. You wouldn't necessarily think this would work, but it does.
We post educational questions concerning addiction randomly for the whole group to learn from. Members share stories of successes AND failures and everyone is extremely supportive when members are going through some of the most trying times of their lives.
We believe that Advocacy at the state and federal level are a part of providing support. We realize that many of the issues or “problems” surrounding addiction need addressed at a higher level than locally, so we work closely with our state and federal leaders to make common sense decisions on future legislation.
We have learned that the Stigma surrounding addiction must change for any success in the future. If we can change Stigma then everything else will fall into place. Education is the ONLY way to change stigma. So in March of 2016 we created an educational presentation that can be done for any group or organization called Addiction 101 that gives a basic understanding of what addiction is and the ripple effect it has; from families and communities, to law enforcement and the judicial system. Contact us to schedule a presentation for your group!
Holly's Song of Hope has set out to be a "Song of Hope" for anyone struggling directly or indirectly with the disease of addiction.
courtesy of ~ iWILLrecover
4 Months was all it took for Heroin to take Holly's Life
Holly was a vibrant young woman full of life and optimism. She loved everyone without bias to race, religion or sexual orientation. With an infectious laugh like her father and a smile that many have said brightened even their darkest days, Holly was loved dearly by everyone who knew her- even if just once.
Throughout school, she was very active in Speech and Drama classes and in the Eighth grade; she won the Bell-Herron Idol (her school’s version of “American Idol). It was around that time that her life was centered on music and the stage. She had roles (some leading) in each play and musical put on during her high school years. And was voted by peers for Homecoming and Prom Court. She was hopeful, talented and what she wanted most in life was to be a mother and pursue a career in music. After high school, the dream to become a mother came true. In March of 2011, Holly gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Noah.
In April, as a treat to celebrate her 20th birthday, Holly went out with her fiancé over the weekend while her parents watched the baby. They later learned that weekend was the first time that Holly tried heroin. Why? She was curious.
Holly’s fiancé was also a heavy user of many things and together, they experimented with different things, including heroin. The decision to use heroin came from Holly’s own curiosity. No one forced her to do it. For Holly, deciding to try heroin was her downfall. She made the choice to try it. Holly’s parents weren’t aware of this at the time but later learned that Holly and her fiancé had been using heroin for 3 months.
At that time, Holly and her fiancé went to their parents to get help. All 4 parents were involved in getting treatment for Holly and her fiancé. They entered detox together, came out of detox and were able to spend a few hours together before being taken to different treatment facilities. During this time, they were gone for approximately 2 months. Holly’s parents cared for the baby while they were in rehab.
When they returned home from rehab, Holly stayed with her parents and her fiancé stayed with his parents. About 5 months later, both Holly and her fiancé started working and moved into their own place that was equally close between both sets of parents. They had been clean and sober for over a year and were doing well.
14 months of living a clean and sober life passed when Holly decided to use again. When her fiancé caught her using about once/week and threatened to leave, take the baby and tell her parents what she was doing if it happened again. She swore that she would never do it again. About a week later, Holly died.
At the time of Holly’s death, Holly’s sister Miranda who is 18 months older than Holly, was in the Navy stationed in California. It was a mad scramble to get in contact with her on the ship before she might possibly learn about the news on Facebook. Her family is thankful that they were able to reach her before anyone else.
Through timeline, friends, coroners and doctors, Holly’s family approximates that Holly used 3-4 times during the last 2 weeks of her life. The coroner reported that the heroin was more pure than what was previously used- resulting in 3 times the “normal” impact. Holly had no knowledge that what was sold to her was different than what she purchased in the past. At the time, in that county, there were 13 deaths due to accidental heroin overdoses within 24 hours that same day.
After Holly’s death, Holly’s family and her fiancé’s family along with friends watched and waited for Holly’s fiancé to falter. He never did. Today, they are so proud of him and grateful to have him as an integral part of their daily lives. Holly’s parents have said that he’s the son they never had.
Today, he has custody of Noah and is a wonderful father. In August of 2014, he celebrated his 3rd year of sobriety and continues to amaze both families daily.
Holly’s parents watch Noah twice a week while is father is at work and his other set of grandparents/aunt watch him the other 3 days. Holly’s sister Miranda is very active with Noah as well and Holly’s mom said the funniest thing to watch is that Miranda and Noah have the same love/hate relationship that Holly and Miranda had growing up. Both Noah and his father go to Holly’s parents house to visit every weekend. Holly’s mom said that Noah likes to sing and can be dramatic just like Holly and watching him can be bittersweet. In March, Noah will be 4 and has begun asking questions about his mom. To the best of their ability, in terms that a 3 year old can understand, they tell him the truth.
Three men were picked up two days after Holly died and they were charged with trafficking heroin. Two of them were given five years probation. The other man got eighteen months for a parole violation and the trafficking heroin charge was dropped despite his admission statement to the police that he took Holly with him, bought and then sold the heroin to her. Since then, he’s been in and our of jail several times and as of today, there’s a warrant out for his arrest in two separate counties for multiple counts of trafficking heroin again. One of the two men that got probation is currently in jail for the second time since Holly’s death and the other man is on the run with a warrant for his arrest as well.