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Broken Arrow forum highlights fentanyl crisis in Oklahoma

Cole Brown (Courtesy, Rebekah Brown)
Cole Brown (Courtesy, Rebekah Brown)
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Cole Brown died last September at the age of 18.

"He was poisoned and murdered in my opinion by someone who sold him something fake," said his mother, Rebekah Brown.

He thought he was taking a Percocet, but it turned out to be fentanyl.

"There’s no room for a mistake anymore, one time may definitely be your last time," she said.

"Causes them to quit breathing and die," said Dr. Cory Kebert of Ascension St. John in Broken Arrow.

He was one of several local officials taking part in a Broken Arrow forum on the drug to emphasize its danger and growing presence in the community.

"On our overdoses, we are at a 50% increase from where we were at this point last year," said Sgt. Eric Nester.

One thing you hear repeatedly is how little it takes to kill someone.

"Yeah, so that’s true, so fentanyl is very potent, and so you hear about compared to morphine, compared to common pain pills. Yes, it’s a hundredfold more potent than morphine, it doesn’t take much," said Dr. Kebert.

"These kids that are dying, this is one pill, one time," said Diane Searle.

She lost her daughter to heroin and started a support group whose membership has skyrocketed.

"Since December of 2021, I have 26 new families in our group ok, just from December 2021, 13 of those are all fentanyl deaths." From around the state? "Broken Arrow." Just from Broken Arrow? "I swear, yes, yes," she said.

What kind of conversation should parents have with their kids?

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"I can tell you what parents should be telling kids, no drug is safe. Don’t believe your friends, don’t believe anybody. The person who sold to my son gained his trust. They aren’t your friends, they’re trying to make a sale," said Brown.


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