Davidson County families work to fight fentanyl together

DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. (WGHP) — Eight people in North Carolina die every day, because of fentanyl, according to the North Carolina Office of Chief Medical Examiner.

On Saturday, people who have lost someone to the deadly drug met other families, public officials, health advocates and law enforcement in Davidson County to work together to fight the fentanyl crisis.

“We want to educate people on this,” said Mike Loomis, a founder of Race Against Drugs.

Mike and his wife, Lorie started Race Against Drugs to be a support for families, after they lost their son, James. “You can’t get over something like that, it complete changes your life and we don’t want another parent to lose their child to drugs laced with fentanyl,” Lorie said.

Their story is all too familiar to the executive director of the Fentanyl Victims Network, who lost her daughter to fentanyl. “We need to have more meetings like this, we need to have more elected officials sitting in with meetings with families, families need to be treated with dignity and respect as well as the victims,” said Barb Walsh, the executive director of the Fentanyl Victims Network.

These parents, aunts, uncles, all want justice for their loved ones. “When you see a 25 year old, beautiful girl lying on a gurney, she is perfect, beautiful and perfect and she is gone, her life is over, it changes your life, you are not going to get over that,” said Kimberly Gay, who lost her niece to a fentanyl overdose.

Stronger together to tackle this issue. “We just want accountability, we try to make our local authorities aware where there are drugs being made, where there are drugs being sold, we want to cry out to people to help in the communities and make awareness to family members that this could happen to anyone,” Gay said.

It starts with a conversation, in schools, at home or on a Saturday afternoon at a church in Davidson County. “This has got to be stopped and if we all join together and get the message across,” Mike Loomis said.

If you lose someone to a fentanyl overdose, organizers say never suffer in silence. There are groups to reach out to, like Race Against Drugs in Davidson County, that can help be a support during the grieving and healing process.

Read the full article and watch the video on the WGHP Fox 8 website.