Jul 25, 2022
Gina McDonald grew up in a household with an alcoholic father. While in high school, she experimented with alcohol and marijuana. When she turned 21, she unfortunately followed her father’s footsteps and started drinking heavily, eventually becoming addicted. After having her daughter at age 26, Gina started participating in outpatient treatment for her alcoholism.
Gina was clean and sober on and off for years, but after being prescribed opioids following surgery, she became hooked on them and got opioid prescriptions wherever she could find them. Once her addiction became unmanageable, she was thrown out of her house and ended up on the street. She started using meth in addition to the pills. After losing everything, Gina was picked up by the local sheriff in the midst of meth-induced psychosis. They offered her treatment or jail. She chose treatment at the urging of police and thanks them to this day for intervening in her addiction. Gina has been clean since 2012 and is an active member of the recovery community.
Gina’s daughter, Sam, began experimenting with marijuana in high school and later moved onto cocaine and heroin. She ended up on the street, frequenting the Tenderloin. In a positive step, Sam recently admitted herself into rehab where she is in recovery
My name is Jacqui Berlinn and I am trying to save my son, Corey, from death by fentanyl. I used to hide my story out of shame. But I realized a few years ago that remaining silent didn’t help my son or myself. Corey is one of over 100,000 unsheltered people in California. Many are suffering addiction to fentanyl and other hard drugs.
Jacqui and Gina – along with other mothers – founded Mothers Against Drug Deaths.
They are moms who want to keep kids from losing their lives and futures to fentanyl. Many more of them are stepping up, as parents, and citizens of California, to demand that government and law enforcement shut down the drug death markets, create psychiatry for all, and adopt a “Shelter First” policy for drug addicted homeless, so they can get the help they need.
They’ve had enough. As mothers of children killed by fentanyl and mothers of homeless addicts living on the streets of San Francisco and Los Angeles, they’re expanding our advertising campaign statewide and calling on Governor Newsom to immediately close the deadly open-air drug markets that are killing children.
It’s horrifying. Parents the across the world should know that California cities are unsafe for children and families. It’s no wonder that hundreds of thousand people and businesses have left California. Many of them left citing our open-air drug markets.