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'Alyssa's Story' tells journey of mother who shares daughter's battle with addiction

Alyssa Honaker, 17, was just a junior at Oakdale High School

FREDERICK, Md - For National Collegiate Drug and Alcohol Awareness Week, city officials, the police department and one local mother are coming together to discuss the battle of addiction in the community. 

“Being a parent of a child with a disease called addiction is terrifying,” said Shannon Stanley. 

At just 17, Alyssa Honaker died from a heroin overdose in 2016. 

Now, her mother is sharing her daughter's story of her battle with addiction. 

“Every story does not have to end the way, tragically, that my daughter's did,” said Shannon.

She first started to see a change in Alyssa when she didn't want to hang out with her family. She started to have an attitude, but Shannon thought she was just like every other teen. 

It wasn't until she received a call from one of Alyssa friends’ mothers, when she learned about the problem.

“I was shocked and clueless,” stated Shannon.

Shannon went the drug store and bought a drug test, which turned positive. She then started on the journey of trying to get her daughter sober. 

After three times to rehab and two overdoses, Alyssa told her mom that she was ready to start a new life. The next morning, Shannon found her daughter dead in her bedroom.

Shannon said that found text messages from a drug dealer on her daughters’ phone who knew Alyssa was trying to stay sober.

Alyssa was just a junior at Oakdale High School. 

Sharing Alyssa's story is a part of this year's National Collegiate Drug and Alcohol Awareness Week.

The week takes place between Nov. 16 to Nov. 22. 

"[We're looking] to come together this week as a united community [amd] to address the issue of drug and alcohol misuse and addiction," said President, Frederick Community College, Elizabeth Burmaster. 

The City of Frederick and the Frederick Police Department were in attendance and also were a part of the discussion to see what steps city officials are taking to help rectify this epidemic. 

"This is something that we need to start educating the citizens of Frederick on,” said Mayor of Frederick Randy McClement. 

“We are conducting an investigation in heroin trafficking and the Fentanyl and Carfentanil situation, but we are also trying to approach it from the community aspect and getting the word out of the dangers of heroin,” said Ed Hargis, Chief of Police, Frederick Police Department. 

Just to show the severity of the problem, a local film maker debuted a clip of his documentary, called Heroin's Grip, which shows residents in the county discussing how this epidemic has impacted their life. 

“Whether I live in Emmitsburg or anywhere, we all have a role to play in solving this problem,” said Director and Executive Producer, Heroin’s Grip, Conrad Weaver. 

While Shannon still deals with the death of her daughter, she wants to try to break the stigma of addiction. 

Those with the film said they hope to show the documentary at major film festivals around the country.


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