Lehigh Valley

Mothers band together to fight heroin epidemic

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - It's a story many parents across the country are struggling to tell.

But it's a story Marie Boland, of Palmerton, and Anke Christiani, of Allentown, are committed to sharing.

"Who would ever say that my son is addicted to heroin or they are in prison," asked Boland.

Both Borland and Christiani have sons who have battled heroin addiction for years.

"You go through so [many] situations that it is very scary as a parent because your child is balancing on life and death all the time," Christiani said.

Both mothers said the road to recovery with your child is difficult and they said it's often a path that leads to pain, frustration and moments of panic.

"I think as a parent, that's when you really worry," Borland said. "Where are they? Are they dead? Are you going to get that phone call to identify a body?"

It is a feeling Christiani and other mothers coping with children addicted to heroin share.

Ultimately, it was a writing class at Northampton Community College that brought these two women together.

Borland shared the story of her son's addiction then Christiani told Borland something she'd never shared with anyone else but family.

"I have a son [addicted to heroin] too."

That's when the idea for a book was born.

They said they want to help other parents feel they can come out of the dark and talk about the demons of addiction.

"Some type of guidance, and they can read this and say I'm not alone," Boland said.

The women are asking other parents who have similar experiences to come forward to be a part of the book and share experiences that can help give other parents hope.

The book will be called 'Parents Voices of Addictive Children'.

An informational meeting will be held 6 to 8 p.m. October 26th at St. John's Church of Faith on Washington Street in Allentown.

Anyone who is interested in sharing their story in the book is invited to attend. 

For more information you can contact Cristiani at or Borland at

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