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The Harms of the “Fentanyl-Poisoning” Narrative

In November, the Kansas City Star reported: “To those in our area who have lost their children to fentanyl, the deaths aren’t overdoses. They feel their sons and daughters were poisoned.”

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Excerpt: How I Stopped Blaming Myself for My Son’s Overdose Death

A son’s death and a mother’s love. This is the story of Josh Olt who overdosed on heroin and died at the age of 16. This is the story of the mother he left behind. It is not a story of “moving on,” or “getting over it.” For those of you who have lost someone you love to overdose, you know those things don’t happen. This is, instead, a story of disenfranchised grief, of self-blame, of what-ifs, of should-haves, and how to find a way to let go of that guilt.