fentanyl deaths

APALD rally for fentanyl awareness on Monument Circle

INDIANAPOLIS — A group rallied at Monument Circle on Friday afternoon to raise awareness about fentanyl. It was part of a nationwide day of action organized by the Association of People Against Lethal Drugs (APALD).

The CDC reports that in 2021, there were more overdose deaths in the United States than any other recorded year.

“If you’re going to knowingly distribute fentanyl, you’re a murder, and I don’t care what your situation is, but you need to be prosecuted for murder,” Harry Bean said.

Bean and Traci Rivers lost two children – Devin and Emma – to fentanyl in 2019.

“My daughter had passed away, and then four months and twelve days later, my son passed. He died of acute fentanyl poisoning,” Rivers said.

Now the two of them are using their pain to help others in Central Indiana.

Rivers founded ‘A Mother’s Tribute,’ and Bean serves on the board. The organization works to spread awareness of the dangers of fentanyl.

Thursday, they took part in APALD’s nationwide rally day.

On Monument Circle, they offered resources and read the names of 479 people who died of overdoses.

“In 24 hours, we had 479 people who wanted to be on the list. The most shocking thing to me was how many 14 and 15 year olds were on that list,” Bean said.

The group is calling for more robust investigations and tougher sentencing for dealers linked to deadly overdoses. They also want people, especially children, to know that any street drug can be laced with a lethal dose of fentanyl.

Jamie Marvel attended the rally for her daughter, Ashley, who died in 2020. Marvel wants people to know that it can happen to anyone.

“Ashley had her bachelor’s degree from IU,” Marvel said. “She was beautiful, as you could see. Outgoing. Everyone loved her. She took some pain pills. That’s how it starts a lot of times.”
Beverley Barnett was visiting the Circle when the demonstration caught her eye. She had never heard of fentanyl before.

“I didn’t realize how dangerous this really is. Make sure you know what you’re really taking. Don’t take it, just don’t take it. This pill kills,” Barnett said.


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