After Her Daughter Died From a Fentanyl Accident, The Mother Fights Fake Drugs

After Her Daughter Died From a Fentanyl Accident, The Mother Fights Fake Drugs

As overdoses from illegal narcotics continue to rise in the United States, NBC Montana’s Kylie Gibson met with a woman whose life has been forever impacted by a fatal counterfeit circumstance.

This is a story you can only watch on NBC Montana.

We hear a lot about fentanyl, the hazards it poses, how to avoid getting into contact with it, and how fatal it is, but we rarely hear about how these deadly overdoses affect families. “My daughter was one in a long line of people that died from one distributor in my small town.”

Andrea Thomas describes her daughter Ashely Romero, 32, as a wonderful mother, daughter, sister, granddaughter, and friend to many. Ashley Romero died in 2018 as a result of taking half of a counterfeit medication laced with fentanyl, which was fatal.

“The day I lost Ashley, I remember sitting that evening at my kitchen table with my husband, and the disbelief that my daughter was gone from a half of a pill– how is that even real,” Thomas said. Thomas knew she didn’t want another family to go through the sorrow she suffered after losing her daughter, so she chose to turn her sadness into action.

“I didn’t know anything about fentanyl in 2018, and like most parents after losing a child to these dangerous drugs we become experts,” Thomas went on to say. Thomas founded Voices for Awareness, a nonprofit organization based in Grand Junction, Colorado.

It raises awareness about counterfeit drugs, illicit fentanyl, and self-harm, to educate people about the illicit fentanyl found in the majority of street narcotics today.

“If I didn’t know about fentanyl, imagine how many other families are unaware of it. So families like mine who raise awareness about the misery that fentanyl causes simply want to help prevent others,” Thomas added.

Thomas also founded a program called Project Facing Fentanyl, which now hosts the national fentanyl prevention and awareness day. It is backed by families and other non-profit organizations that assist spread the word about fentanyl.

Thomas refused to let her daughter’s life be forgotten or become another statistic.

“We must remember that each of those figures represented a loved one, and many more people have been affected. There is a fallout from this, and now that we are seeing such large numbers, we want to make sure that people understand that these are our family members, and we can’t erase anything,” Thomas added.

The guy who delivered the lethal pill that murdered Thomas’ daughter, Ashley, was sentenced to life in prison in Colorado for the illegal distribution of deadly fentanyl pills.

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