LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – Addiction experts, law enforcement and families who have lost loved ones have all met at the Hillview Police Department, seeking to find better ways to deal with addiction .
Wednesday’s roundtable was hosted by Congressman Brett Guthrie.
Sharon Hoover, one of the guests at the event, held up a picture of herself and her son on Mother’s Day.
“He never missed a Mother’s Day,” Hoover said. “He was my only child and he left me no grandchildren.”
She told the story of her son who died of a fentanyl overdose. He suffered from a degenerative bone disease and needed pain management, but he felt he had not been prescribed enough medication. So he went elsewhere for more.
“The very first time he was on the street and before he came out of the apartment where he bought oxycontin, he was dead,” Hoover said.
Rita Bishop’s son also died of a fentanyl overdose.
She recalled the story of that fateful day, a day that was supposed to be happy, because her daughter was to get engaged that night.
“I said to someone at my job, I said ‘Nothing can ruin this day,'” Bishop said. “Well, that afternoon, I get a phone call and Gretchen says, ‘Mom, come home. Dalton doesn’t answer.
He had only taken half a pill of what he thought was oxycontin, another strong drug.
“When the autopsy came back, that half pill was 100% fentanyl,” Bishop said. “So he didn’t have a chance.”
Bishop’s son was the driving force behind “Dalton’s Law,” which makes importing fentanyl a Class C felony.
Recovery centers explained their drug treatment process, while law enforcement spoke about their experiences with people on the streets.
“Our disease is chronic and our disease is progressive,” said Ana Blakey of Seven Counties Services. “And if we don’t get the treatment we need, it will be fatal.”
“I think I gave Narcan more as a police officer than when I was a paramedic,” Boyle County Sheriff Derek Robbins said. “I’m still a paramedic, but we used to buy Narcan and we had to throw it away because it would go to waste.
Fentanyl overdoses are on the rise in the United States. The DEA seized nearly two thousand pounds of the highly abused narcotic in the first three months of 2022 alone.
Last year, the DEA said it captured more than 15,000 pounds of fentanyl, enough to kill every American.
Guthrie felt he accomplished what he set out to do at the roundtable. He continues his work on legislation that addresses the problem of substance abuse and drugs in the United States
Copyright 2022 WAVE. All rights reserved.