As the number of drug overdose deaths skyrockets, the CDC reports most are caused by fentanyl, a synthetic opioid the DEA has classified as 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine.
In many cases, it's unknowingly ingested.
After losing her daughter last year, Misty Little is on a mission to change that.
Thursday night, exactly one year after 26-year-old Cheyenne Little died from fentanyl poisoning, the community gathered on the steps of the Hunt County Courthouse.
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Hunt County Judge Bobby Stovall presented a proclamation, declaring April 14, 2022 Fentanyl Poisoning Awareness Day, and Little shared Cheyenne’s story.
"She took a hydrocodone every now and then. She was a big-chested girl and she worked on her feet and her back hurt. And to the best of my knowledge, she was given what she thought was hydrocodone, but it was fentanyl that was four times the legal dose, and my mother found her,” said Little.
Determined not to let her daughter’s story end there, Little, along with family and friends, are launching Fiercely Fighting Fentanyl Poisonings, a nonprofit with a mission to spread awareness about a crisis that's become the leading cause of death for adults ages 18 to 45.
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"We want to get into the schools. We want to talk to kids. We want to make educators and law enforcement and everybody aware of what's really out there,” she said.
Last year in Texas, there were more than 1,300 fentanyl-related deaths.
Governor Greg Abbott recently launched an effort to crack down on distribution.
Still, the numbers continue to climb, and Little hopes sharing Cheyenne's story will prevent another family from experiencing her grief.
"Losing a child, I hear people talk about it all the time, but it's a pain like no other. I'm going to use that and we're going save other kids,” said Little.
Little is also pushing to educate people about Narcan, an opioid overdose treatment. She hopes to get it into the hands of more people, including parents and educators.