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Mom talks about son who OD’d in effort to help others

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) -- This is Red Ribbon Week, designed to help prevent drug use, especially in kids.

Drug use is growing in Fort Wayne, as one mother knows all too well.

"I've taken CPR classes. Never in my life did I ever think I would use it on my own child," Theresa Juillerat said.

She never thought her 23-year-old son Christopher was using drugs -- until it was too late.

23-year-old Christoper Juillerat died of an overdose May 12.

"We've had an increase in overdoses that have ended in fatalities because of the lack of access to other people to administer Naloxone and other life-saving measures of that nature," said Drug & Alcohol Consortium CEO MaryClare Akers.

She said usage has gone up during the pandemic as people turn to it as a coping mechanism, and said one of the biggest drug issues in Fort Wayne right now is pills designed to look like popular prescriptions like Xanax or Percocet.

However, local dealers are using pill presses to make counterfeit pills that are laced with fentanyl, a cheaper but potentially more deadly ingredient.

Pills marked as "M30" can be counterfeit and laced with potentially deadly fentanyl.

"If a youth or an adult is looking for something to either take the edge off or feed an addiction that is already in active play with them, and they look for a Percocet or a Xanax and they get one of these and it's way out of their league with regard to how potent it is, that's where we're seeing the overdoses," Akers said.

Juillerat said the pill that killed her son was laced with fentanyl, and said parents need to talk with their kids about what's going on in their lives and their minds.

"You know your child better than anyone. So if there are signs, if there are anger issues that you've never experienced before, or just emotions that you've never seen from your child before, talk to them," she said.

If you or your child need help with an addiction, call the Drug & Alcohol Consortium at (260) 422-8412.

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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