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Billings woman will discuss her experience with drug recovery at the March Against Drugs and Violence



Billings, Montana – An anti-drugs and anti-violence march is being held in Billings on Saturday.

In an effort to help another person, one woman is sharing her experience with drug addiction.

On Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., Yellowstone County Courthouse yard will host the 24th Annual March Against Drugs & Violence.

The keynote speaker will speak about the difficulties she faced in overcoming her drug addiction as well as her inspirational and hopeful remarks.

“They call me the sauce boss in here,” Misty Mitchell said of her job in the Passages kitchen.

Mitchell is aware of the difficulties in beating drug addiction.

“I hit a lot of obstacles and then I’ve been revocated twice,” Mitchell said. “I’ve been to Passages twice. I have not made it home since 2020.”

She currently assists in preparing meals for 400 convicts at Passages’ culinary arts program (CAP), many of whom are battling the same demons she did ever since her arrest and subsequent felony narcotics possession charges for meth in 2019.

“I had to break down my own walls,” Mitchell said. “These guys helped me and that’s really what made me blossom.”

“She feels good about herself,” said Gina Poor, Passages director. “She feels good about what she’s doing. And she’s she’s made that turn. She wants to live a good healthy life.”

Pictures of Misty’s brother and son, both of whom passed away due to drug abuse, are displayed on her clothing.

When she serves as the keynote speaker for the March Against Drugs and Violence on Saturday, she will don the shirt.

“They’re a part of my growth,” Mitchell said about her two family members who died. “And my every day to get through things. When you literally watch somebody that you love with everything in your body die from drugs, it changes you.”

This most recent march took place in 2019, after having been put on hold for a while due to COVID.

The most recent Billings Police Crime Report indicates that drug offenses peaked in 2018 but have since been declining in Billings.

“It used to be a lot more focus on alcohol,” said state Rep. Mike Yakawich, R-Billings. “And then it became meth and then fentanyl, synthetic drugs. It always seems like there’s new drugs coming out that are being abused.”

The march’s creator is Yakawich.

Families from South Billings walked to the courthouse yard when he served on the South Side Neighborhood Task Force.

His own five children, according to him, are among those who have been discouraged from using drugs by the march.

“I know personally, and I’ve heard from others, that hearing this message is encouraging and inspiring and hopeful,” Yakawich said.

A message that is being heard thanks to speakers like Misty Mitchell, who consented to speak when she was sure that she would be able to beat her drug addiction with the assistance of the staff and inmates at passages.

“Hopelessness to hopeful came in because I didn’t do this on my own,” Mitchell said. “I’m lucky. I really am.”

“There’s always hope,” Poor said. “And Misty’s an example of that.”


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