Editorial: We must continue #StopFentanylNow fight
Day in and day out, part of a newspaper’s mission is to make a difference in the community it serves. That can include the watchdog function, keeping tabs on government, for instance.
That charge also encompasses advocacy for safety and the citizens.
This past November, The Daily Courier said: “Enough is enough.” Our community had buried two young men, 19-year-olds Gunner Bundrick and Jake Morales, who died after unknowingly taking pills laced with fentanyl, a synthetic opioid more powerful than heroin and as much as 100 times more potent than morphine.
The Courier, since then, has chronicled dealer arrests, trends, donated money to help Silent Witness in its efforts, and told parents what to look for, among other stories, editorials and efforts. We also are tracking those arrested through the legal system and reporting the results.
At the end of March, Phoenix’s 3TV/CBS 5 aired a report on what we are facing here, as part of what Arizona communities are doing to fight drugs.
The Courier would like to thank Jake’s parents. They spoke with the TV news crew and told of their pain and challenges since he died. They also said they hope it raises awareness in the fight against drugs as well as the hope that the effort saves lives. “I don’t want any other parents to feel that,” his mother said about missing their son – every day for the rest of their lives.
We wish the parents of Gunner and Jake peace and all the best.
We also want to thank 3TV/CBS 5 for helping to tell the story. These two young men had so much going for them, so much to live for. That was cut short. This drug culture must change. It is one that has dealers, suppliers and cartels looking to hook customers with extremely addictive substances that can so easily kill.
We also want to remind parents, students, teachers, coaches and all other residents in the Quad Cities that this fight must continue. A portion of the responsibility falls on our youth who are chasing a high; at the same time we must all be watchful, careful, and pay attention to what is happening.
And these two men are not alone. There have been other synthetic opioid overdose deaths in Yavapai County – more than any other type of overdose death. In only the first half of 2018 there were 42 fatal overdoses.
We have to #StopFentanylNow and other illicit drugs before we senselessly lose another life to this scourge on our society. Please join us in continuing to take a stand for our children, for our future.