John and Darcy Nelson are at a loss to explain the heroin epidemic that’s consuming Fargo, N.D., the Fargo Forum reports.
“Look at all these kids dropping left and right in Fargo,” he says.
He thought when his 21-year-old son, Josh, died from an overdose in a bar’s bathroom in 2013, that would “straighten up” the kids in the area who’ve become addicted to the drug, which is cheap and plentiful.
Then their other son, Noah, 26, overdosed in the parking lot of a Walmart in Dilworth, Minn., the Forum says. He was brought back by Narcan.
Four people have recently died in Fargo-Moorhead due to suspected opioid overdoses, and police say at least one of the deaths may be linked to heroin laced with the powerful painkiller Fentanyl, prompting them to issue a warning to the public about its increased danger.
John Weed, 37, and Tyson Chaney, 24, both died on March 6; Lucas Anderson, 26, died March 12; and Ahmad Hajar Amin Gardi, 20, died March 22, all of suspected opioid overdoses.
There have been many more close calls. F-M Ambulance reports it used Narcan on emergency calls 10 times in the month of March alone and is on track to administer it more than 90 times in 2016.
“I know many people from growing up, people I work with that have relatives, daughters, nieces, sons that are using heroin,” Darcy tells the paper.
She says she’s learned that yelling at kids about heroin isn’t working.
“It just makes them feel more worthless, makes them feel more alienated. I think it does more harm than good,” she said.
“All you can do is be there, listen and love them, because there’s really nothing else you can do,” she said.
“I’m sick of it,” John said. “There’s no way I can handle burying another kid.”
Related: Heroin ‘Safe Zones’: Coming to the United States? (NBC)