Jay Around Town: Local Non-Profit Takes Steps Toward "Winning the Fight" Against Addiction
Today we had the fantastic honor of sitting down with my friend and local resident, Kathy O'Keefe, about her organization, Winning the Fight, and her mission to educate parents and youth about addiction both here in our local community and nationwide.
Addiction and overdose are topics close to Kathy's heart. Her son, Brett O'Keefe, died on March 20, 2010 after an accidental drug overdose. After his death, she felt she was given a mission from God to educate parents and families of those struggling with addiction and to provide them with the resources her family could have benefited from during their own personal experience with addiction and drug use.
More than anything, Kathy hopes to eliminate the stigma surrounding addiction so that conversations can be had about how to prevent addiction and better help people through it.
We know many of you may be thinking, "I'm sure drug use isn't an issue in my community," but Kathy told us today that there are an average of three drug-related teen deaths each year right here in Flower Mound. And no matter how you look at it, three deaths among our youth are three too many.
So how exactly does Winning the Fight (WTF) help? They are equipped to educate parents through interventions and are able to offer support and help as parents work to get their children into detox centers and rehabilitation facilities. They also work directly with addicts - visiting them in hospitals and getting them into treatment centers.
Every Tuesday evening, WTF also hosts a support group for both parents and youth. And they are currently working on developing a workbook and corresponding online class to help educate parents as they help their children.
WTF has become an integral part of our local community. Kathy has teamed up with local police departments and the Denton County courts to help parents and youth. We are grateful to have her and her passion for helping others right here in Flower Mound and hope her initiative only continues to reach more people and change more lives for the better.