NC mom joins fight to keep fentanyl out of U.S. after son's death: 'You never get over it'

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Wednesday, July 10, 2024 11:16PM
Advocates prepare for national fentanyl rally in DC
There were more than 3,300 fentanyl-related deaths in 2023 alone in North Carolina, and there have been more than 17,000 since 2013, according to the North Carolina Medical Examiner's Office.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- New data in the ongoing opioid epidemic shows a recent struggle to keep fentanyl out of the United States.

According to data obtained by ABC News, Mexican authorities have seized only 286 pounds of US-bound fentanyl so far this year, a 94% drop from the same time period last year. It comes as the Mexican government continues a crack down on other drugs, including methamphetamine. Mexican officials are seizing roughly 12 times the amount of methamphetamine than they did in 2022.

That's troubling for local fentanyl awareness advocates -- and families who have been touched by the crisis, like Beth and Elizabeth Moore.

"Horrific. You'll never get over it. And it was all so worthless, I guess you could say. All so preventable," Beth said of her son's death.

Beth's son and Elizabeth's brother Pearson died in August 2022 after accidentally ingesting fentanyl.

"I miss him every single day. And every day it just feels so unfair because it feels like it it could have been prevented if he had known more," Elizabeth said.

Beth says those new figures from Mexico showing a drop in the amount confiscated are troubling, and said overall -- the drug's presence here in the US is scary.

"It should be scary for every parent sending their children to college, every parent who sends their kid to high school, because it is so deadly. And all it takes is one time," she said.

Advocates who are fighting to keep fentanyl off the streets say more needs to be done to keep fentanyl out of the US, and that most of the fentanyl here originates in China and works its way through Mexico.

"It's just pouring in at such a rapid number, and we're losing kids at such a rapid number," said Patricia Drewes.

Drewes is from Granville County and is Vice President of the national group Lost Voices of Fentanyl, with more than 34 thousand members across the country. They're marching in Washington, D.C. on Saturday to pressure the President and lawmakers to do more to combat fentanyl and stop its flow from places like Mexico.

"We carry our posters, and we march to the White House because you need to see us, you need to hear us, you need to understand what's going on in this country," Drewes said.

Drewes lost her own daughter to fentanyl back in 2019.

"This is killing everyone's child, and that's what I'm talking about. It's not a red issue or a blue issue, it's a red, white and blue issue," she said.

RELATED | Families of fentanyl victims fight for more funding, awareness

According to the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, there were more than 3,300 fentanyl-related deaths in 2023 alone in North Carolina, and there have been more than 17,000 since 2013.

SEE ALSO | Pounds of meth found in ice chest full of dead fish as car tries to cross into US from Mexico