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Mom wants to tell her son's tragic story on a healthy opioid summit







NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Almost three years ago, Carrie Luther lost her son Tosh to an overdose.

"He made a mistake and took something he did not think was that," Luther said. "Now he's gone forever."

Luther says that her son had a hard time sleeping at night.

On October 27, 2015, he took a quarter of what he thought was a Xanax pill from a friend.

"It was not Xanax," Luther said. "It was fake, and it was Fentanyl."

Luther says the small amount of fentanyl, an opioid, killed him within 30 minutes.

Tosh was only 29.

"You do not have to be an addict to be vulnerable," said the mother.

That's a message she shares on Friday at the Healthy Tennessee Opioid Summit.

Non-profit organizations, law enforcement agencies, consultants and legislators will discuss ways to combat the opioid epidemic and the increasing death of fentanyl.

"It's important to let people know that this could happen to them or someone they love," Luther said.

Last year, 1268 people died of opioid-related overdose in Tennessee, according to the Tennessee Department of Health.

Over 600 of the overdoses came from prescription pills.

500 were from fentanyl.

"Fentanyl is so potent that it only takes 2 to 3 milligrams to kill an adult," said Shabbir Safdar, managing director of the Safe Medicine Partnership.

"This amount is less than what Lincoln's head would fit on a penny."

Safdar says that most fentanyl overdoses come from counterfeit pills that are usually distributed among friends.

"There is no prescription pill that is safe unless you get it from a licensed pharmacy," Safdar said.

It is a warning that Luther is now addressing to young people and parents, hoping to save them from the pains they live with every day.

"You do not want to be this person lying in a coffin because you made a mistake," she said.

The Healthy Tennessee Opioid Summit will take place on Friday at the Hermitage Hotel in downtown between 8:00 am and 2:00 pm.


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