(University of Notre Dame) “My son was 25 years old when he died of fentanyl poisoning,” says Jennifer Breaux. “My son didn’t know that what he was given was fentanyl, and he died instantly.
“I miss hearing his laughter. I miss hearing the stories about the fish that he caught. I miss seeing him play with his brothers,” she says, tears streaming down her face. “It’s important to share emotion. It’s real. It’s authentic. It’s what we go through as parents . . . it’s real life.”
Breaux is not alone. Fentanyl overdoses are now the leading cause of death for people between the ages of 18 and 45. In 2021, the CDC attributed more than 71,000 overdose deaths to synthetic opioids including fentanyl. That number is nearly 23 times the 2013 rate.