Where are fentanyl victims’ rights?

Drug-induced homicide killed my son

By Kristy Dyroff – – Thursday, April 27, 2023


Victims of drug-induced homicide and their affected family members are not given the resources and recognition they deserve. I know this because I am one.

Wesley, my son, was a 22-year-old college student in 2007 when he injured his knee playing football with friends. As his mother, I sent him to our family physician for care. This was when our nightmare began. My son was prescribed increasingly higher doses of opioids for the pain, caught in the spiral of greed initiated by Purdue Pharma. Our entire family struggled through his addiction as he valiantly fought his way through half a dozen rehab programs, intensive outpatient programs, halfway houses and Narcotics Anonymous. He finally found success at a faith-based, nine-month rehab program, where he developed his own faith and strength. I was overjoyed to have my kind, thoughtful, beautiful son back as the amazing gentle giant he had grown to be.

On Aug. 19, 2015, when my husband and I found him dead in his home after being sober for two years, I was devastated by the grief.

Read the full article on the Washington Times website.

WSOC TV 9 Investigates: Incomplete Autopsies

WSOC TV 9 Investigates: Incomplete autopsies from state impacting deadly NC drug cases

UNION COUNTY, N.C. — Channel 9 is continuing to investigate a statewide autopsy backlog which means some cases are getting left unsolved.

In some types of criminal cases, the medical examiner’s office isn’t even doing a full autopsy, which is making it harder to prosecute crimes in our community. Channel 9’s Genevieve Curtis found out that many of those cases are overdoses.

The Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner’s Office performs a full autopsy in overdose cases so that prosecutors can go after the drug dealers under the 2019 Death by Distribution law. But several of our local counties have to send their cases to Raleigh’s medical examiner, where they’re not getting those same results.

Union County District Attorney Trey Robison has been aggressive about prosecuting dealers who sell drugs which cause an overdose death.

“We can’t prosecute any of these cases without autopsies that we can take into court and show to a jury to try and prove our case,” DA Robison said.

But to prove it in court, Robison needs a full autopsy.

Read the full article on the WSOC TV 9 website.

‘War on drugs’ deja vu: Fentanyl overdoses spur states to seek tougher laws

Randy Abbott seethed with anger after his 24-year-old daughter, Vanessa, died of an overdose at a North Carolina house party eight years ago. His idea of justice was “for everybody to go to jail forever.”

But today, Abbott doesn’t believe that users who share lethal drugsshould be prosecuted for the resulting deaths. In Vanessa’s case, that person was a childhood friend, herself in the throes of addiction. “She lives every day with the fact she lost her best friend,” Abbott said.

His view is part of an emotional debate unfolding in state legislatures across the country, as lawmakers move to crack down on drug crimes in response to growing anger and fearover the toll of a drug crisis killing thousands every month. In North Carolina, one of at least a dozen states this year that haveconsidered tougher drug penalties, the Senate recently passed a measure thatwould expand prosecutors’ ability to bring felony charges againstanyone who gives a lethal dose of fentanyl.

Read the full article on the Washington Post web site (registration may be required).

NC families of fentanyl victims advocate for more state action to fight opioid crisis

RALEIGH N.C. (WNCN) — Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration approved lifesaving medication to combat the opioid crisis.

While families of fentanyl victims in North Carolina are praising the decision, they say there’s more to do on a state level to prevent deaths.

Barb Walsh’s 24-year-old daughter, Sophia, died in 2021 after drinking from what she thought was a typical water bottle, instead it had dissolved fentanyl inside.

Walsh created the Fentanyl Victims Network to connect families impacted in the state.

“Every night I call five families because I want to talk to them,” Walsh said. “To collect these people and let them know that they’re not alone and they need to join us. We are stronger together.”

Read the full article on the CBS17 web site.