The Harms of the Fentanyl-Poisoning Narrative

Submission Date: January 5, 2024
Attributing Author: Sam Snodgrass

solving puzzle

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.”

There was nothing unfamiliar about this message. “She calls it fentanyl poisoning because she says her daughter, like many others, was not a substance abuser,” reported North Carolina’s Queen City News, that same month, of a bereaved mother. “‘Overdose’ has a stigma that many families feel is not a proper description of their loved ones.”

In June, an article in the New Republic related: “Families like the Capeloutos are adamant that their child did not experience some sort of self-imposed tragedy. Instead, they use the word ‘poisoned,’ which makes it clear there is a villain in the mix here—and it certainly was not their kid.”

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