Mothers fighting to end drug deaths making bold impacts in San Francisco

Tara Campbell Image
Sunday, August 21, 2022
Mothers fighting to end drug deaths making bold impacts in SF
Members of Mothers Against Drug Deaths are using their voices to reach high places in the fight against the drug overdose crisis in San Francisco.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A group of Bay Area moms is fed up with the drug overdose crisis in San Francisco and their bold voices are reaching high places, just two years into joining forces.

"I think deep down each of us individually is a fighter," said Terry Kremlacek, referring to members of the nonprofit, Mothers Against Drug Deaths. Her son is battling an addiction to fentanyl on the streets of the Tenderloin, where Terry goes in search of him.

"It's not something I love to do. I live in Marin and I have to psyche myself up to come here," she said.

Their personal stories and passion for change are capturing the attention of those in power. Last week they met with San Francisco's District Attorney, Brooke Jenkins.

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San Francisco resident's video shows children walking past open drug use on city streets amid worsening crisis in the Tenderloin District.

"She listened and listened to our stories and really was learning from us," said Gina McDonald, co-founder of Mothers Against Drug Deaths. McDonald spoke with the DA about everything from easier access and treatment to ending the open-air drug market.

"We're very supportive of her efforts to crack down on the dealing. We haven't seen that in a long time," said McDonald.

Tara Campbell: "The impact this group is having, would you have ever imagined?"

Gina McDonald: "We hoped. There are so many families out here who don't have a voice."

The moms are making bold moves with a series of billboards over the past year taking direct aim at the city's response to the drug overdose crisis.

RELATED: SF billboard calling out open drug use could expand to Europe if city doesn't see change

The group spent $25,000 on a new billboard in Union Square that reads: "Famous for the world over for our brains, beauty and now dirt-cheap fentanyl."

"People from all over have been emailing us since we put up the billboards," said McDonald, who most recently met with a mom from Massachusetts, looking for her child.

"Came all the way here to find her child on the street and we walked the Tenderloin and she was devastated- just devastated," said McDonald.

The group organized a rally to be held in front of San Francisco City Hall Sunday drawing in the likes of the district attorney, supervisors, first responders, and parents with children who are struggling with or have lost their lives to addiction.

"We want to bring everyone together to figure this out," said McDonald.

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