Advocates speak out ahead of Fentanyl Awareness Day

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Tuesday, May 9, 2023
Advocates speak out ahead of Fentanyl Awareness Day
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A Clovis family determined to make a dent in deadly fentanyl overdoses shares the loss of their loved one as a national day of awareness approaches.

CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- May 8 is Fentanyl Awareness Day.

Kimberly Stidham and her family are determined to make a dent in deadly fentanyl overdoses. Six months ago, when they lost their son and brother Ahlijah, they joined a growing club no one wants to be a part of.

They say Ahlijah struggled with addiction for years, a battle he lost in October at age 20.

A life cut short -- but one that made a difference. His organs were donated, helping to save several lives.

Monday, the California Assembly voted not to fast-track three bills related to cracking down on drug dealers caught selling fentanyl.

"If your child died from a fentanyl overdose and that drug dealer that sold your child that pill -- you would not want them in jail?" said Flindt Andersen, founder and president of Parents and Addicts In Need (P.A.I.N.).

Andersen says he's frustrated with what he says is inaction by the state legislature, but he will not be discouraged from his push for more to be done.

We will continue to go, we'll continue to fight, we'll continue to keep presenting these bills and on a daily basis here at P.A.I.N.," said Andersen.

Part of the help P.A.I.N. offers is distributing and teaching people how to use Narcan, which can reverse an opioid overdose.

Ahlijah's family is joining that effort.

"I want everyone to know they need to make sure they're doing their part too. And that means going and taking a class. Who knows? It might be a random stranger walking down your street, it might be your neighbor, it might be your neighbor's kid," said Jessica Fine, Ahlijah's sister.

To learn more about P.A.I.N. visit their website.

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