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Ophelia Nichols, known by her followers as Mama Tot, is a TikTok star and internet personality from Mobile, Alabama. Within the past four years, she has garnered 12.5 million followers on TikTok and has amassed close to 550 million likes on the platform. On Instagram, Nichols has close to 1 million followers and nearly 3.5 million on Facebook.

Since rising to fame, Nichols has been an advocate for those struggling with mental illness. Nichols herself has been open about growing up with a mother struggling with bipolar disorder. 

Nichols initially went viral after stitching a video of a girl upset that her mother had shamed her for buying a dress due to her size. In her response, Nichols shared her experience growing up with an unsupportive mother and iconically advised the girl, “Don’t listen to that heifer! You’re beautiful.” Her response has since been made into a t-shirt available on Amazon.

Additionally, Nichols has tirelessly advocated for groups facing discrimination, especially in the South, and has emphasized that her social media is a safe place for everyone on her blog site. Since her first post in August 2020, Nichols has made it her mission to create and spread positive content on the internet.

Nichols is featured in an anthology, The Social Spark: Igniting Change: Stories From 43 Social Media Creators on Life, Positivity and Making an Impact. That will be released later this year. The book dives into the narratives of 43 social media creators and influencers who have sparked positive change and conversation using their platforms.

Mama Tot

Ophelia Nichols’ Thoughts on Drug Use by Adolescents

In June of 2022, Ophelia Nichols’ son, Randon Lee, was murdered at a gas station. At the time, Nichols’ son was 18 years old and tragically lost his life just weeks shy of turning 19.

The incident was an apparent drug deal gone wrong. Lee allegedly arrived at the gas station to sell marijuana to two other people. According to surveillance video footage, it appeared that one of the suspects entered the victim’s vehicle and shot him before fleeing in another car. Lee drove off to a different gas station and stopped, where shortly after, paramedics pronounced him dead.

Ophelia Nichols quickly took to social media, sharing her grief and imploring her followers to help her discover who killed her son. Nichols also urged her followers not to think less of her son due to the circumstances surrounding his death.

After her son’s death, the TikTok star touched on how when your children are out in the world, it can be challenging to keep tabs on whether they’re staying out of trouble. Nichols noted how she and her family discovered more about Lee after his death than they knew. 

Nichols additionally explained that Lee had a lot of trouble and had been dealing with depression after the death of his father.

On Nichols’ website, she has links to an abundance of mental health resources for those who are looking for support, including LGBTQ+ and BIPOC youth, or for those who may be struggling with a wide array of issues such as eating disorders, substance abuse, suicidal ideation, and dealing with grief.

Nichols continuously reminds her followers to be bitter and not better and strives to keep spreading love, kindness, and joy to her many followers.

Signs of Substance Abuse Disorder

Symptoms of substance use disorder (SUD) vary depending on the drug, but some general signs apply to many drugs. These signs of addiction include the following:

  • The urge to use the drug frequently
  • Needing more of the drug to feel normal
  • Making sure you always have a supply
  • Spending money on drugs even when you can’t afford it
  • Neglecting work, school, or family obligations
  • Continuing to use drugs despite adverse outcomes
  • Attempting to quit and failing
  • Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when you stop

Signs of Mental Health Disorder

The signs of mental illness vary depending on the specific disorder. Also, a person’s preexisting medical status and underlying health conditions impact how mental illness will present itself in each person. 

Mental health conditions may manifest differently; not everyone displays the same symptoms. However, some common signs of mental illness include the following:

  • Changes in mood, including feelings of sadness, hopelessness, irritability, anger, or mood swings that are not typical for an individual
  • Anxiety and excessive worry lead to physical symptoms of rapid heartbeat, changes in blood pressure, or sweating
  • Avoiding social interactions and activities while isolating yourself from people and settings you once found enjoyable
  • Insomnia and difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Noticeable weight loss or gain
  • Trouble concentrating, inability to make decisions, focus, or remember routine information, along with difficulty organizing thoughts
  • Hearing voices or seeing things that aren’t there
  • Unexplainable headaches, stomach aches, and other pain that doesn’t correlate to a medical issue
  • Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
  • Resorting to substance abuse to cope with any of the above symptoms
  • Neglecting personal hygiene or appearance

Resources for LGBTQ+ and BIPOC Youth 

The websites below provide various resources, information, and support for parents of BIPOC children. You will be able to navigate meaningful conversations about addiction and mental health.


Embrace Race has articles and webinars to assist parents in raising racially aware children. While conversations about race and racism can be difficult, Embrace Race teaches parents how to have those conversations. 

Raising Race Conscious Children goes a step further than race and helps parents navigate conversations about equity and social justice matters as they occur in real time.

Live Another Day provides a directory of the twelve best San Jose-based substance abuse treatment centers. The site also includes numerous culturally competent resources for BIPOC.

Teaching Tolerance is led by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Resources are available for parents to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. Articles and activities provide the tools to discuss and nurture empathy in BIPOC households.

Centric Behavioral Health is a boutique treatment facility. Because of the disparity of mental health and substance abuse treatment for those who identify as LGBTQ+ and Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI), Centric was born. Clients will receive individualized support to aid them in recovering, all while doing so in a luxury environment.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) prides itself on providing high-quality learning experiences for parents. Their focus is on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Prevail Recovery Center specializes in Black LGBTQ+ addiction and mental health support. Located on the coast of Flordia, the center offers intensive outpaint, partial hospitalization, and a traditional outpaint program. These are led by evidence-based therapeutic practice and relapse prevention techniques. 

As the name suggests, Parent Toolkit gives parents a toolkit of resources, including videos, guides, and other information. 

The Center for Racial Justice in Education offers workshops that address racial justice and equity in education. Their resources are designed for educators, parents, and the larger community.

Outpatient Rehab Centers offers a collection of 50 addiction and mental health resources for Native and Indigenous college students. Resources include mental health, trauma, healthcare services, crisis lines, podcasts, and LGBTQ+ resources. 

Teaching for Change provides booklists, activities, and articles on anti-racist parenting and multicultural learning.

Detox Local allows you to compare treatment centers’ programs, treatment options, and detoxification. The site also has an extensive AAPI resource guide.

Multicultural Children’s Book Day embraces children’s literature that emphasizes diversity. The site provides book recommendations and reviews along with activities that honor diversity.

Healthy Children is a parenting website by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The site covers topics related to health and development, cultural competency, and understanding diversity. Parents can access resources for raising children in a multicultural world. 


Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
Call 988

Crisis Text Line
Text HOME to 74174

Crisis Services and Suicide Prevention
Call 855-CRISIS

National Suicide Lifeline 
Call 800-273-TALK 

Youth and Young Adult Suicide Prevention and Mental Health Awareness
Call 800-560-5767

Samaritans Helpline
Call or text 877-870-4673

The Black Line
Call or text 800-604-5841 

The Trevor Project

Trans Lifeline

We Are Here for You

We aim to discover the roots of an individual’s challenges. We go beyond the symptoms and underlying trauma for a complete healing process. Our guiding tenants at TRUE Addiction and Behavioral Health were founded on the premise that recovery is about restoring the heart and mind. We keep this at the forefront of equipping individuals to live their fullest potential.

If you’re ready to leave your addiction behind, we are here to map your journey to lasting recovery. Reach out to us at (615) 488 8418 to learn more.