Mother of southwestern Missouri overdose victim warns of dangers of fentanyl

WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (KY3) – Billboards went up in Kansas City on October 19 with the images of many young people who lost their lives to fentanyl poisoning. One of them, Tyler Harness, was living in Waynesville when he took a laced pill that led to his death.

“It can happen to anyone,” said her mother, Brenda Maynard. “It may be that first pill.”

Maynard lost her son in September 2021. The 24-year-old was an avid outdoorsman and avid carpenter, but it all ended when he took a pill containing fentanyl, which is 100 times stronger than morphine .

“You go through a period where you’re just numb,” Maynard said. “You start following the moves, and that’s really all you can do to remember to breathe when you hear the news that you’ve lost your child.”

Maynard worked in addiction and mental health services before her son’s death. She says that while many young children know to avoid heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine, prescription drugs are a different story. She worries that because these pills come in a prescription bottle, people will let their guard down.

“I want people to talk about the dangers of fentanyl,” Maynard said. “I don’t want another parent to go through this nightmare. There is no justice. If it happens. If your child dies like this, there is no second chance and there is no justice.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a drug addiction, here are some resources:

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