Mom who lost daughter to opioids fights to bring awareness

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. A local drug recovery center in Springfield says they had about 10 thousand people come through in 2018.

They came to the square in downtown Springfield to bring light to the fact that more than 130 people die everyday to overdoses according to the Centers of Disease Control.

"I found her in her bed at 4:30 in the morning an it plays in my head over and over again... its just shattering," said Julie Oziah-Gideon.

Julie Oziah-Gideon daughter, Samantha Jade Huntley, died of an overdose more than a year and half ago.

"She went to Kickapoo, everybody loved her, she loved everybody," said Oziah-Gideon

Oziah-Gideon says the battle began when her daughter was in a terrible car accident. Her daughter broke her back in three different spots when she was only 16 years old. Her doctors prescribed her pain killers, but when they ran out, her daughter looked elsewhere to cope with the pain. But, a month after Samantha's high school graduation, she came to her mother for help.

"She said mom I am addicted to heroine, I don't want to do this, I don't want to be like this, but when I try to quit I get super sick and she was like I don't know what to do," said Oziah-Gideon.

Julie says Samantha went to different treatment centers outside of Springfield, but when she would come back home, her daughter wasn't able to resist temptations.

"You can't control it, you can't just quit, I thought the same thing whenever she first told me, why can't you just quit, its not that easy," said Oziah-Gideon.

Not long after Samantha's passing, Julie become an advocate at the Springfield Recovery Community Center in raising awareness to help those struggling from addiction.

"I want to help people encourage people, give them resources, let them know recovery is possible and also let them know what happens if you don't get in recovery and stay in recovery because thats my side of it," said Oziah-Gideon.

She's also pushing for a new law in honor of her daughter.

"We are working on Samantha's law to make it illegal for patients to be kicked out of inpatient before 30 days," said Oziah-Gideon.

"It doesn't just happen to poor people or homeless people, you know she was a cheerleader, she did tumbling, she was popular, she was beautiful and it happened, she didn't grow up around drug use or anything. It just happened and it was unfortunate. It happens to everyone and anyone, it does not discriminate," said Oziah-Gideon.