Father using heartache to help stop fentanyl deaths with nonprofit Families Against Fentanyl

Published: Jan. 22, 2023 at 10:13 PM CST
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - More people are dying from fentanyl each year, including children. In a new study, nonprofit Families Against Fentanyl (FAF) says they took a deep dive into CDC data to discover fentanyl deaths among kids are rising faster than any other age group.

FAF was founded just a few years ago after Jim Rauh lost his own son to fentanyl. Now he’s using his hurt and experience to help make change.

“Nobody needs this type of heartache,” said Rauh. “My son was killed in 2015 by the Zheng drug trafficking organization sending acetyl fentanyl over the United States and we prosecuted them in Beijing.”

It’s what pushed him to create the nonprofit, he says, to fight for all families who have lost loved ones to the opioid epidemic. Rauh calls it a deadly poison.

FAF found a rise in fentanyl deaths across all age groups, including children, according to CDC data. 55 kids under 14 died from fentanyl in 2019 but by 2021, it rose to 193 deaths, a 250% increase.

Rauh says he understands the heartache parents are going through. That’s why the nonprofit is pushing for the government to use all its power to stop fentanyl use.

“We have to cut off the supply in order to stem the flow of material into the country,” he explains. “That’s why we’re pushing for Weapon of Mass Destruction. Use the whole government, the treasury, the military, the law enforcement, and everything to shut off the supply.”

Rauh says it could save thousands of lives every year.

“We want to end this and I can’t stand to see any other parents destroyed this way,” he added. “I know how they’re gonna feel.”

They are also pushing for more education in the school systems about the dangers of fentanyl, saying young people need to understand it can be laced in any and all drugs.

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