One Bump and Your Dead. Period.
We know you know about fentanyl. We also know you know how easily the opioid synthetic can kill. Heck, we’ve called out the deadly dangers a dozen or so times ourselves. So have the Feds. And so have nearly every state and local entity in these United States. But it’s not just opioid addicts who need to be cautious; it’s anyone doing any powdered drugs whatsoever. Because whether it’s heroin, cocaine or meth, one bump and you easily could be dead.
Of course, the risk isn’t limited to powders – the Feds’ long-running One Pill Can Kill campaign will attest to that. It’s not just one place that needs to be wary either. This applies to anyone doing any drugs anywhere. Nevertheless, one particular 24-hour period in Kalamazoo especially needs to be addressed, if only to spare others the worst form of heartache. That is, the heartache which comes from losing a loved one way before their time.
One Bump Among Cousins
That heartbroken Mom, Margaret Anderson, is talking about the loss of her son, Steven Williams. Son Steve may have been 32 years old, but he was still her baby. So it is with many Moms, regardless of their child’s age. That’s what makes the heartbreak so searing.
It’s also what makes this whole situation so egregious. Anderson’s overdose was just one of 18 to take place within a single 24 hour span in Kalamazoo last month. Each of the victims had copped fentanyl-laced cocaine. Seven of the dozen-and-a-half died, including Williams’ elder cousin.
It’s hard to say whether or not any of the victims knew they were getting more bang than they bargained for. At the same time, it’s hard to believe that they didn’t know – or at least suspect. After all, not only have the fentanyl warnings been blaring from proverbial rooftops over the past couple-few years, but anyone who’s come anywhere close to drugs has probably seen the danger creep up close and get very personal.
That’s not to blame the victim. It’s not to judge them either. When consenting adults do one bump and die, we’ve gone beyond all that. We’ve even gone beyond sobriety. Heck, Anderson says her son had been clean two years before he slipped. It’s a shame he won’t get another chance.
Don’t Blame Kalamazoo
It’s not Kalamazoo’s fault either. We covered Kzoo’s fent fight back in February after News Channel 3 reporter Allie Jennerjahn pulled a ride-along with DEA Agent Steve Verdow. It was then when we learned that Mexican Cartels had turned the town into something of a drug hub. Oh, it wasn’t so much because if Kzoo’s size (which is a relatively modest 70-some-odd thousand), but because of its location (which is pretty much equidistant between Chicago and Detroit).
That’s not to say that Kalamazoo isn’t a market in its own right. After all, dope sells for twice the usual market price. It also makes twice the impact – economically and socially. Then again, what else to expect from what’s essentially still a small town?
So yeah, people notice when two cousins go out for a beer and a bump and never come back. Or when a husband and wife take off on the last date night of their lives. They especially notice when one bump kills them all on the very same night.
Fentanyl is Everywhere
Of course, fentanyl deaths are by no means limited to Kalamazoo. They’re not limited to Michigan either. However, even the state itself admits that “opioid overdose deaths have grown tenfold” since 2000. In 2020, 1911 of those deaths were attributed to synthetic opioids, compared to 443 from heroin.
Michigan recorded 3,040 drug overdose deaths year, cites Kovanis, representing a 9.3% increase from 2020.
Nationally, a record high 107,600 people, died of drug overdoses last year, an increase of 15.9% over 2020. It was lower than the 30% rise from 2019 to 2020, yet it was still a rise.
All tolled, fentanyl was involved in 71,238 U.S. deaths in 2021, compared with 57,834 in 2020.
That’s 71,238 American Moms who have lost a child. And 71, 238 men, women and under-18s who’ll never get another chance to find sobriety.
Folks don’t risk it. Please. And if you simply must risk it, then educate yourself. Michiganders can obtain naloxone through COPE Network’s Kalamazoo Harm Reduction team. It can also be picked up over-the-counter at certain pharmacies throughout the state. And NextDistro provides guidance about how to respond to an opioid overdose.
If you have happen to have any information about a deadly batch of fentanyl in the Kalamazoo area or information about other illegal drugs, please call Kalamazoo’s Silent Observer Program. You can also anonymously submit a tip online.
Those struggling with substance abuse are encouraged to get in touch with Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety partners at Integrated Services of Kalamazoo (ISK)or Southwest Michigan Behavioral Health
And here the state of Michigan offers substance use help by county.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) offers free, confidential help through its National Helpline. And if you phone Never Use Alone someone will stay on the phone while you use just to make sure you’re safe. (And call for help if you become unresponsive.)
Of course you can also call us. Remember, Healing Properties has been at the forefront of recovery since 2002. That’s over two decades devoted to sustaining sobriety. And over two decades of living beyond our wildest dreams.