When Officer Rose Clark answered her phone around 9:45 on the evening of November 20, 2017, she didn’t know the Dallas homicide detective’s words would suck the air from her lungs—“your daughter is dead and has been found in a remote alley in Dallas.”
Officer Clark’s beautiful 25-year-old daughter Catherine died tragically of an opioid overdose the day before, leaving behind two small children and a loving family who supported her through her struggles with mental health and addiction.
Catherine was a straight-A student in elementary and middle school but in high school began using marijuana and alcohol. Depression, self-harming and a bipolar diagnosis followed. Soon, her family’s cycle of treatment and short stints of recovery began. Officer Clark never gave up, nor do most parents, even as their feelings of hopelessness escalate.
The real tragedy behind Catherine’s story—and what drives her mother to advocate and educate in Catherine’s memory—is that it is not unique. While other cities and states across America have much higher opioid overdose rates than Texas, the rates are climbing here. In 2016, 2,799 Texans died of a drug overdose, up from 2,593 in 2015, more than the population of a 6A high school.
The biggest tragedy would be for us—you and me—to do nothing while more young people die. Overdoses are 100 percent preventable.
What can you do today? Since today is North Texas Giving Day, you can go directly to DPR’s donation page to support Officer Clark’s family—and other North Texas families like hers. Your gift will help fund overdose prevention education and training, help expand prescription drug take-back efforts, and create programming for pharmacists, physicians, dentists and veterinarians.
Overdose can happen in any family. Your gift matters as we work toward a drug-free generation. Click here (https://www.northtexasgivingday.org/drug-prevention-resources) to show your support.