A Canadian mother shared a heart-wrenching photo of her son dying from an overdose from fentanyl. Sherri Kent from Calgary, Canada posted the picture with the heartbreaking caption on social media. Her son, Michael, died shortly after from an overdose. She hopes that her picture of Michael will deter others from addiction, especially opioid addiction.
The opioid epidemic in the U.S. is growing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 91 people die from an opioid overdose every day. In Canada, the growing crisis is just as problematic. Canada is second in the world after the US in opioid use. The prescription drugs are given to those in chronic pain or to those to suppress coughing or diarrhea.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid and is 100 times more potent than morphine. From 2000 to 2017, the number of overdose due to fentanyl use in the thousands. While prescribed legally, there are more cases of fentanyl being illegally made and sold on the street. It is mixed with heroin, cocaine, or a combination of both with or without the user’s knowledge, according to the CDC.
Sherri Kent’s son immediately overdosed after obtaining the drugs. According to KFOR in Calgary, Michael took the drugs in a bathroom and overdosed. By the time help arrived, Michael Kent was in “cardiac arrest.” KFOR also reported that fentanyl overdoses were on the rise in Michael’s neighborhood. The opioid epidemic has grown rapidly in the U.S. and Canada over the years with primary healthcare physicians prescribing opioids such as Percocet, Vicodin, Oxycodone, OxyContin, and fentanyl.
KFOR reported that Sherri Kent wants people to know that the drug is “killing 5-7 people a day in every city in Canada.” She intends to spread the dangers of drug use to others because she felt that there was “no way to protect our children” other than warnings. In Michael Kent’s obituary in the Vernon Morning Star, it described Michael’s passing as “sudden and unexpected.” Speaking to the CBC, Sherri Kent said that her son was “not an addict, he made a mistake that cost him his life.”
While the toxicology results are still pending, Kent and her family firmly believe that Michael died of a fentanyl overdose. Kent went on to say to the CBC that making naloxone available to people “will help reduce the number of deaths.” She went on to recommend to others with friends and loved one abusing drugs to get a naloxone kit. “They give you the time you need to get medical help,” she said.
By Cheryl Werber
Photo Courtesy Facebook