Moms target court cases of prescription drug traffickers

Two grieving mothers staged a silent protest outside Bridgewater’s courthouse Wednesday in an effort to shed light on the issue of prescription drug abuse.

Tammy Ballard and Cheryl Jones plead with families and kids to pay attention to growing issue

The mothers say they'll continue to try to shame accused prescription drug traffickers as they appear in court. (CBC)

Two grieving mothers staged a silent protest outside Bridgewater’s courthouse Wednesday in an effort to shed light on the issue of prescription drug abuse.

Tammy Ballard lost her son Josh after he consumed methadone.

“It took me two years two even accept the fact that my son is gone,” said Ballard, who is speaking out for the first time. “I’m at the point now where I don’t want any more children to lose their lives over this… I need to speak out. I need to speak out for my son.”

If we keep yelling and screaming, sooner or later we may save a life- Tammy Ballard

Ballard was joined with Cheryl Jones, who lost her son Brandon Wentzell in February of the same year after he also used prescription drugs to get high.

The women stood outside the court at the same time as three people accused of trafficking prescription drugs were appearing in unrelated cases.

“All these people that are providing these controlled substances that are federally controlled need to be held accountable,”

“We’re trying to get the message out there to other children,” Ballard said. “Nobody’s immune to this. It’s as simple as ‘Here, try this.'”

Ballard’s son went out with his girlfriend one night and ended up taking the methadone at someone’s house.

“The toxicology report showed he was non-tolerant, he’s never had it in his system before,” Ballard said. “So that one time – that one time – took his life.”

Tammy Ballard's son Josh died after trying to get high off of methadone. (CBC)

“We both share the same pain every single day,” said Jones, who came up with the idea to hold the demonstration. She said they will continue to attend the court dates for those accused of trafficking.

“I will continue this journey until I can’t breathe anymore,” she said. “I’m just hoping that more kids will listen.”

“If we keep yelling and screaming, sooner or later we may save a life,” said Ballard.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.