As parents, we can't let our guards down when it comes to substance use. There are powerful and dangerous drugs out there and a tragic epidemic of fentanyl poisoning that is taking young lives far too soon. THREE MARIN MOTHERS' STORIES - IN THEIR SONS' MEMORIES Three grieving but mighty Marin County mothers are wanting their stories - of love and loss - to be shared in their beautiful sons' memories. They do so in the hope that other families won't suffer as they have. The videos they have just recorded are short but powerful. Please watch them and share with others, especially your children.
Xander, Trevor and Alex all died of fentanyl poisoning - Xander Petrick-Kropp in March 2020 at the age of 19, Trevor Leopold in November 2019, also at 19 years old and Alex Movahedi in April 2020 at the age of 25. All three boys started using cannabis in high school; their drug use progressed as they searched out more intense highs. Their stories about the "one pill that can kill" are not only common in Marin, but tragically, they are happening all over the country.
Xander's mom, Tori Kropp, tells her story here. Tori talks about her son starting weed a mere 18 months before he died. And how she was a savvy parent - but that even the most savvy parents have little idea of the drugs out there or how kids are doing them - such as by popping pills like Xanax, while drinking alcohol. As Tori has written in this Marin IJ article, "WHERE is the community outrage?"
Trevor's mom, Michelle Leopold, tells her story here. Trevor died from a laced "blue 30" Oxcycodone pill. Michelle explains fentanyl is mixed into almost all street drugs these days, which are easy to purchase through SnapChat. She points out that the kids who are dying aren't all addicts; some are even experimenting for the first time. As Michelle heartbreakingly notes, "kids are supposed to learn from their mistakes. They aren't supposed to die from their mistakes." Alex's mom, talks about how her son used
marijuana to sleep, assuring her it was "safe and healthy". As his anxiety worsened, Alex turned to Xanax in addition to weed. Marion will never forget cleaning out Alex's car after he died and finding empty cannabis infused soda bottles, THC cookie wrappers and a glass rig for dabbing highly potent cannabis concentrates. All three mothers have become tireless in their quest to not only share their sons' stories, but also increase awareness about the "Russian Roulette" risks of substance use these days and the harms of today's highly potent cannabis. As advocates, they are demanding that our state and local legislators take action to do better, advancing public health over profits to protect the safety of our children.
READ ON FOR SUMMERTIME PARENTING
In addition to this new and ever-present danger of fentanyl, summer is also always a time for increased rates of youth use. And this one will pose extra risks for kids yearning to have the summer they didn't get last year and let loose.
We hope you and your families have a wonderful, safe and healthy summer!