By Andrew Christiansen
TUCSON, Arizona (KGUN) — Standing by a picture of her son at Pantano Christian Church on Tuesday, Theresa Guerrero spoke with people stopping by her table, which had pictures of people who died because of fentanyl.
She’s lived more than three years without her son Jacob, a picture of him at her table staring back at her as she recalled memories of him.
“He really enjoyed being around people and he would just help anybody out at anytime,” Guerrero said.
He was just 31 years old when he died after consuming cocaine, which he didn’t know had fentanyl in it.
Guerrero calls his death a drug-induced homicide because someone intentionally put the fentanyl in the cocaine.
Finding out about his death was a reality that quickly became a nightmare for her.
“To see his lifeless body there was just… it was the worst sight that a parent or anybody could ever see,” she said.
It’s situations like her son’s death that she’s trying to prevent by speaking at events like the fentanyl forum on Tuesday at Pantano Christian Church. It was hosted by the Tucson Police Department and departments within Pima County.
“Fentanyl is being sold on Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook,” Guerrero said to the crowd.
She warned parents that they should monitor their kid’s social media and warned everybody that fentanyl can be potent.
“You never know what you’re getting,” she told them.
That’s why the Tucson Police Department said they’re prosecuting people who sell fentanyl. They said almost 54% of the fentanyl seized throughout the country comes from Arizona.
The Pima County Health Department said from 2018 to 2021, drug overdoses increased in the county by 90%.
To prevent more deaths, they’re connecting people with the opioid reversing drug NARCAN for free.
Guerrero is continuing to fight to end the fentanyl crisis by connecting with families who also lost a loved one, saying, “Because we’re stronger in numbers.”
She’s also fighting for laws that would impose stricter consequences on people dealing the deadly drug.
“You can’t go back and change anything. All you can do is try and help out,” she said.
Please note: This content carries a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you may not use it on any platform.