Remembering Tyler Johnson

Tyler Johnson

Today marks the 9th anniversary of losing a treasured member of the HC DrugFree family. Tyler Johnson was only 25 years old when he was killed during a shooting event at the Mall in Columbia on Saturday, January 25, 2014.

As a frequent speaker at HC DrugFree programs, Tyler shared his experiences of teen drug and alcohol use. While he spoke openly of his journey with addiction and what it was like to live in recovery, his story highlighted hope and excitement at the possibilities ahead. He gave freely of himself so that others could avoid the path he traveled as a teen.

Yet Tyler’s impact wasn’t only felt by the students and parents he spoke to. He was quick to offer his assistance to HC DrugFree staff or anyone in need. He had an infectious smile and greeted everyone with a warm embrace, which we affectionately referred to as “Tyler hugs.” We, at HC DrugFree, miss Tyler, continue to share his story, and work to prevent drug and alcohol misuse. On behalf of Tyler, we ask you to intervene quickly and often when you suspect a teenager is illegally using drugs or alcohol, give a  “Tyler hug”  to your loved ones to let them know that  you  are a safe place, and most of all, remember, there is hope and help for drug and alcohol addiction.

HC DrugFree would like to thank Tyler’s family for their continued support and the recent donation from the Tyler Johnson Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation of Howard County. Our hearts are with Tyler’s family today and always.

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