Mother of opioid victim joins forces to alert Hampton students


HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Diana Mitchell lost her daughter, a student at Bethel High in Hampton, to an overdose nearly two years ago. Now she wants to help other Hampton parents be proactive by building awareness and knocking down stigma.

Brooke Mitchell took what she thought was heroin. Instead it was a lethal mix of cocaine and fentanyl.
Her mother wants to share the experience so that other parents can benefit before it’s too late.

“I know of at least 10 people that are close to her age or families that have lost their children too,” Mitchell said. “But they don’t want to talk. Hiding and not talking about it is getting other people killed.”

Mitchell is partnering with Hampton City Schools, the local community services board and the drug abuse prevention and education agency Bacon Street. They’ve organized an opioid awareness night later this month to show Hampton students and their parents what to look for.

While most of the national messaging aims at adults, this event’s organizers want to fill a gap. 

“What they’re not talking about is what’s happening for our children from 17 to 10. That’s massive and there’s so little treatment out there.”

Bacon Street works with that age group. It just received a $2 million federal grant and will use part of that money to open a new site right in Hampton. 

“We’ll have a Hampton day support drop-in center for teens. They might need a little extra support, a hot meal, a place to do their homework.”

Although the event is dedicated to Hampton students and their families, organizers hope its proactive approach will inspire similar events at other schools in our region.

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