A grieving Texas mother has taken out a billboard to warn young people about the dangers of fentanyl after her own 22-year-old daughter died after taking a pill laced with the drug.
Patricia Saldivar’s daughter Cassandra died in June after taking a painkiller, which she didn’t know was laced with the synthetic opioid.
Patricia says she was shocked and wished she could have warned her daughter about the danger — but since it’s too late for that, she’s doing all she can to raise awareness and stop other young people from meeting similar fate, and recently spent thousands of dollars on a billboard near AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
Tragic: A grieving Texas mother has taken out a billboard to warn young people about the dangers of fentanyl after her own daughter died after taking a pill laced with the drug
Grieving: Cassandra Saldivar, a single mother of a two-year-old son, died by accidental overdose in June after taking several painkillers
Cassandra, a single mother of a two-year-old son, had recently moved into an apartment in Arlington with a roommate this summer when she took several painkillers.
According to friends, she fell asleep on the couch, but was cold and had a bloody nose when they checked on her. They called 911.
Friends of Saldivar said she had fallen asleep on a couch, but when they went to
Her mother Patricia got the call on June 1 that Cassandra was hospitalized, but by the time she got there, Cassandra had died.
‘We’re still in shock,’ she told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
‘I was like, what in the world? I didn’t know it was possible to lace a medication with fentanyl,’ she added to Good Morning America.
Patricia also wasn’t aware that her daughter even used drugs, and says she had never been arrested or gone to rehab.
‘I was young once, so I know things happened, but we had a good relationship,’ she said.
In the dark: Her mother Patricia didn’t know she used drugs or that they could be laced with the dangerous synthetic opioid fentanyl
Scary: According to friends, she fell asleep on the couch, but was cold and had a bloody nose when they checked on her. They called 911
Patricia assumed that if she didn’t know, others wouldn’t either — and she quickly became determined to spread the word.
In late September, she paid $2,100 for a billboard that features a photo of her daughter. It reads: ‘1 pill that’s all it took. Fentanyl kills. R.I.P. 06/01/21.’
The billboard was erected near the home of the Dallas Cowboys and will remain there for four weeks total, spanning a month of football season.
‘[Fentanyl deaths] are becoming more and more common and I don’t want anyone to go through the same thing that my family is going through,’ Patricia told Good Morning America.
‘I wanted to do it to make people aware to not be taking anything that is not prescribed to them.’
Patricia is also raising awareness on TikTok and giving out flyers at high schools, warning others not to take any pill that isn’t prescribed to them.
‘If I had known this before, I would have warned my kids, I would have said, “Watch it. You better be careful,”‘ she said.
The billard was erected near the home of the Dallas Cowboys and will remain there for four weeks total, spanning a month of football season
Stats: According to the CDC, 93,000 people died of a drug overdose in the US last year
‘It helps with my grief because I know I’m helping others’ she added. ‘Cassandra’s passing was not in vain. I’m keeping her memory alive.’
According to the CDC, 93,000 people died of a drug overdose in the US last year.
That’s up from 70,630 in 2019, when 70.6% of all drug overdose deaths were due to opioids
Opioids, and synthetic opioids in particular, are the ‘main driver’ of overdose, involved in 72.9% of opioid deaths.
Opioids were involved in 49,860 overdose deaths in 2019 (70.6 per cent of all drug overdose deaths).
Fentanyl, which is used by prescription to treat severe pain, is is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and mimics the effects of heroin.
However, most deaths related to fentanyl are due to illegally-made fentanyl. It can end up in black market pills that look like Oxycontin, Vicodin, Xanax, or Adderall.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (seen above in Des Moines, Iowa in July) says American children will die due to lethal drugs pouring into the country from Mexico
This week, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blasted the Biden administration for a border policy that he said will allow drugs to come into the US.
‘We have these porous borders. These [drug] cartels figure out…not only how to get into Texas, California and Arizona, but all across the country and build up networks,’ Pompeo told WABC 770 AM radio on Sunday.
‘Our local law enforcement…are under enormous pressure because of the drugs.
‘Kids all across America are going to die as a result of the failure of this Administration to secure that border,’ he said.
Pompeo criticized the Biden administration for not adequately screening migrants who come across the border and for ditching Donald Trump’s ‘remain in Mexico’ policy.
Federal agents in Texas said in June that there has been a 4,000 per cent increase in seizures of fentanyl at the border.
In a September 15 memorandum, President Biden highlighted ‘major drug transit or major illicit drug producing countries’ and disucssed a plan to expand access to prevention, treatment, and recovery from drug addictio
According to NBC News, Border Patrol in El Paso found one pound of fentanyl outside ports of entry in 2018. It was two pounds in 2019, and nine pounds in 2020. So far, in 2021, they’ve found 41 pounds.
However, the Chief Border Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez said the fentanyl is actually being smuggled in outside traditional ports of entry.
Meanwhile, in a September 15 memorandum, President Biden highlighted ‘major drug transit or major illicit drug producing countries’ and disucssed a plan to expand access to prevention, treatment, and recovery from drug addiction.
‘The ongoing drug addiction and overdose epidemic in the United States is one of the foremost public health priorities of my Administration, and addressing this epidemic will require both new domestic investments and greater cooperation with foreign partners to target illicit drug suppliers and the criminal organizations that profit from them,’ he said.
‘My Administration will seek to expand cooperation with key partners, such as Mexico and Colombia, to shape a collective and comprehensive response and expand efforts to address the production and trafficking of dangerous synthetic drugs that are responsible for many of our overdose deaths, particularly fentanyl, fentanyl analogues, and methamphetamine,’ he continued.
He called for more efforts to ‘dismantle transnational criminal organizations and their networks, increase prosecutions of criminal leaders and facilitators, and strengthen efforts to seize illicit assets’ in Mexico in particular.