It’s Overdose Awareness Month

We Remember…

August is Overdose Awareness Month, with August 31st usually reserved for local and national communities to come together to remember those we’ve lost to a drug overdose. It’s a somber day to honor their lives and to share photographs as a strong reminder that they are not just a statistic; that they were and still are deserving of our love. Addiction has a very strong stigma attached to it, and losing someone to an overdose causes an enormous and complicated grief. Our lost loved ones were daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, neighbors, and co-workers. They should not be defined by their substance abuse struggles and they should not be remembered for the tragic way they passed. We can carry them with us in our hearts and in our memories, and we can help those still struggling by offering compassion.

If you have lost a loved one to an overdose or know someone who has, there are simple yet caring ways to remember them:

-Hold a moment of silence within your family, office, or neighborhood.
-Light a candle.
-Wear purple (the color associated with Overdose Awareness Month) on August 31st and explain to others why you’re doing so.
-Hang up purple lights outside your home.
-Share stories and photographs of someone you know who has passed away.
-Visit with someone you know who has lost a loved one and listen to their memories.
-Donate your time and / or money to your local recovery house or homeless shelter in honor of someone who has passed.
-Go to local events related to addiction and overdose awareness.
-Attend a training session on how to properly administer Narcan so you can save a life by reversing an overdose.

Rage strives to bring awareness about addiction, and to end the stigma and mystery surrounding it. With your support, we can do this together.

A woman raising her arms

Dana was my sister. She was a daughter and an aunt and many other things. She was not JUST a drug addict. She, like countless others, had hopes and plans. She had several bouts of sobriety, and we saw the real Dana many times; the outgoing, fun-loving, creative, animal lover that she was. The one with the obnoxious laugh and the one who adored her two nieces. She enjoyed looking at the night sky, drinking cold coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts, journaling, and spending time with her cat. She used to volunteer at our local animal shelter years ago, and she even took some EMT training courses. She was more than her addiction, and she is more than how she passed away. Her absence has left a huge hole in our family, but I carry her with me every day through the work I do with Rage Against Addiction, and when I see a butterfly or look at the moon. I can hear her laugh if it’s quiet enough; many good parts of her are in my own girls. Dana will never be forgotten. She will be forever missed and loved always.

-By: Mia Ellis

Read the Note on Matters of Mental Health by Wendy

We can’t talk about overdose without talking about grief. Grief is the aftermath of overdose. That is what everyone thinks, but we start grieving long before we lose our loved one. When active addiction takes hold, we mourn. It’s a very isolating life for the ones that are left to worry and wait. Addiction doesn’t just destroy the life of the one using. It attacks everyone in its path.


Past and Upcoming Events


Our Rage Club families were invited to spend some time at Leidos Field at Ripken Stadium with the Aberdeen (Maryland) Ironbirds on August 7th. Though it was a blazing and humid afternoon, the Rage Club kids were treated to a visit from the Ironbirds mascot, some stadium goodies, and even a few autographs from the team. Our annual Family Day brings together families affected by addiction while allowing them to enjoy some fun in the sun. We know that children need to heal too, and that is why it is important for them to come together with others going through the same challenges so they don’t feel alone.

September is coming up fast, and so is our Recovery Night Out event. We want to acknowledge and celebrate those in our community who are in recovery, and what better way to do than to have an evening of great music, delicious food, and games? Old Line Grill will be providing the dinner and The Perfect Beat will be providing the music. We hope to see some new and familiar faces! More information can be found here.

If you are in and around the Harford County, Maryland area and would like to participate in recovery events, please check out this calendar of events. You can also check out the recovery events in your community.



Community Resources


Addiction Connections Resource: A non-profit organization that assists with providing resources and support for addiction treatment and that educates the community about substance abuse disorder. Located in Fallston, MD. Please visit here or call 443-417-7810 for more information.

Ashley Addiction Treatment: An inpatient treatment center that personalizes clinical programs based on individual need. Located in Havre De Grace, MD. Please visit here or call 800-799-4673 for information about online and in-person meeting services.

Celebrate Recovery: A local support group for those with addictive behaviors. Located in Bel Air, MD and Joppa, MD.​

-Mt. Zion Church (1643 Churchville Road, Bel Air, MD 21015) – every Thursday at 5:45pm. Contact or visit here for more information about meetings.

-Mountain Christian Church (New Life Center 1802 Mountain Road, Joppa, MD 21085) – every Friday at 6:00pm. Please visit here for more details.

GRASP (Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing): A local support group for those who have lost someone to addiction.

-7:00pm on the 2nd Wednesday of each month.

-Located in the Education Building at Mt. Zion Church – 1643 Churchville Road, Bel Air, MD 21015

-Contact for more information. The private national Facebook group is available. Please visit here to ask to join.

The Klein Family Harford Crisis Center: A clinic that provides immediate care for mental health and addiction. Located in Bel Air, MD. Please visit here or call 410-874-0711 for information about services.

Loving An Addict: A local support group for family and friends of those in active addiction.

-7:00 pm every Saturday.

-Located in the Education Building at Mt. Zion Church – 1643 Churchville Road, Bel Air, MD 21015

-Contact for more information.

​We serve locally but think globally. For counseling, or for addiction, substance abuse disorder, or mental illness treatment, please contact your area’s health department, county government, hospital, or law enforcement agency.

Rage Against Addiction Programs


Daughter’s House: Designed to assist women who are transitioning from substance abuse treatment to recovery; includes three sober living houses (Daughter’s House, Sister House, and The Cottage) located in the suburbs of Harford County, MD. Click here to visit the Facebook page.

Rage Club: Designed specifically for children affected by addiction to help them process their feelings and learn about the disease by offering counselor-led activities, such as equine and art therapy, nature walks, and more. The group meets several times a year. Click here for more information

HALO (How to Live Without Our Addicted Loved One): An online grief support group specifically for those that lost loved ones to substance abuse. Click here to ask to join the private Facebook page. *Please read and answer the membership questions prior to joining.*

RAA ABC (After Baby Care): Provides post-partum care packages to new mothers in early recovery.

Rage Against Addiction Team Members


Wendy Beck: Founder and Executive Director

Rachel Bongiorno: Recovery Coach and Daughter’s House Program Director

Mia Ellis: Newsletter Writer and Administrator

Amanda Buddenbohn: Board of Directors

Tara Kuzma: Chairman of the Board of Directors

Sarah Hoover and Michael Nesline: Rage Club was inspired by their need to heal from their own personal loss