(NewsNation) — Emily Groth was supposed to check into a drug treatment center. Her family knew something was wrong with the 21-year-old award-winning artist, cheerleader and track athlete. So they organized an intervention and arranged for her to receive treatment.
Groth never made it to treatment. She died three days before she was supposed to check in. Unbeknownst to her family, Groth had been injecting heroin.
And unbeknownst to Groth, the fatal hit of heroin that ended her life contained enough fentanyl, a highly dangerous drug 100 times stronger than morphine, to kill six people.
It was a tragedy that rocked her family’s world. But it’s a tragedy that is growing all too common in the United States.
Fentanyl deaths know no barriers. They do not know race or socioeconomic differences in people. It is a drug that has proven it can permeate into all walks of life.
Groth’s mother, Angela Kennecke, is an anchor at NewsNation’s Sioux Falls, South Dakota affiliate. She wants to make sure no other families have to grieve the death of a loved one. So now, she is working to spread the word about the dangers of fentanyl.
“It just has to stop,” Kennecke said Wednesday on “NewsNation Prime.” “It’s all I can think about. I hear about another death and they’re so common.”
Drug overdoses, with fentanyl serving as the key culprit, kill 199 Americans every day. A total of 108,000 Americans died of an overdose in the last calendar year. And 75% of drug overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2020 involved an opioid, according to CDC data.
“I just feel so compelled to educate as many kids as possible, and parents too, that illegal drugs is just playing a game of Russian roulette. We can’t have it, we can’t tolerate experimentation,” Kennecke said. “We have to teach our kids that the only safe drugs come from a doctor, a pharmacy, a trusted adult.”