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This Post Is In Sponsorship With Emergent BioSolutions, Along With CADCA, MAPDA, ShatterProof, And SafeProject, And Pro Football Player Darren Waller On Reverse the Silence! Thank You For Sponsoring CityGirlGoneMom! As Always, All Opinions Are My Own!

If you’ve spent any time on my blog or social media, you know that I love my family more than anything. This is why it’s so heartbreaking for me when I share the story of my little brother, Scott, who passed away due to an accidental fentanyl overdose. When he died in 2018 at the age of 33, a part of me died with him, but anyone who knows me knows that passiveness in the wake of tragedy is against everything I believe in.

Which is why I’m proud to join our sponsor Emergent BioSolutions, along with CADCA, MAPDA, ShatterProof, and SafeProject, and pro football player Darren Waller on a new awareness campaign—Reverse the Silence—to help educate people across the country around the risks of accidental opioid overdose.


Last year, over 93,000 Americans lost their lives to a drug overdose. That is more people than the capacity of most professional football stadiums.


smiling brother and sister brother and sister

Awareness Can Help Stop Overdoses

Reverse the Silence means we are no longer going to remain quiet—we need to talk and lessen the stigma associated with opioid use and overdoses. As a big sister who lost her best friend, I will share Scott’s story to help raise awareness. Because this can happen to anyone—brothers, daughters, sons, sisters—and being aware of the dangers can help.

Admittedly, I was ignorant of the seriousness of this problem. And I’m not alone because the minute I shared the news about my brother’s death, my inbox went crazy with thousands of messages: “My brother died of an overdose too.” “I lost my sister to addiction…” 

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The overwhelming majority, 80% or 8 in 10 overdose deaths, involved opioids, including prescription opioids (natural and semi-synthetic opioids, and methadone), heroin, and synthetic opioids (primarily illicit fentanyl).


beachside memorial uncle with kids at christmas

Turning Tragedy Into Strength

I’m honored to be involved in this campaign because we must help stop overdoses, as too many lives have been lost. I know my little brother didn’t want to die. It was a terrible accident that broke my heart and tore my family apart. But from his death comes knowledge and strength, and while it still hurts to talk about, if my story helps save just one person’s life, then it’s worth sharing.

Do what you can to educate your friends, family, loved ones—even total strangers! Tell them Scott’s story. I would give anything to hear him call me “Sissy” just one more time. His death left me utterly empty and crushed, but there’s still the relentless and resilient side of me who wants to do something about it. In the almost three years since his passing, I’ve been working on gathering information, using my platform for interactions and education on addiction to raise awareness.


Over 68,000 opioid overdose fatalities occurred in 2020 (latest CDC provisional data report), representing a worsening of the drug overdose epidemic and the largest number of drug overdoses for a 12-month period ever recorded. An estimated 185 opioid-related deaths occur per day, which is more people than the average commercial airliner.

Overdoses are not merely statistics but are real people. They are children, parents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and neighbors. No more families should lose a loved one.


happy family with kids memorial photo

Helpful Tips to Be Prepared

The more you know about the risks of accidental opioid overdose and addiction, the better prepared you are to help your loved ones! Here are five quick tips to help you understand opioids and start a conversation with your friends and family. For more information, visit ReverseSilence.org.

  1. Know the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Drug Help Line: 1-800 662 4357 (HELP)
     
  2. Go to your medicine cabinets—if you have leftover opiates, get rid of them. You likely have a safe disposal for opioids in your town—check out My Old Meds.
     
  3. Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or nurse if you are taking opioids and want to understand the risks.
     
  4. Talk to your children. Talk to your teenagers. Talk to your brothers and sisters, friends, cousins, and their cousins. Talk to your neighbors, colleagues, and community members—everyone should know about the risks of an opioid overdose.
     
  5. Be prepared! An opioid emergency can happen at any place and at any time—learn the signs and symptoms of an opioid overdose today.

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brother and sister at christmasmaya angelou quote

Together We Can Help Stop Overdoses

Watch and share the Reverse the Silence videos on social today. And make sure to check out ReverseSilence.org to learn more. I’m sharing my story in hopes of educating and helping others like Scott, and hopefully, we can put a stop to opioid overdoses. Together, we can encourage open discussion around having an opioid safety plan and support any person who may be taking opioids.  

man and woman in reverse the silence campaign

#ReverseTheSilence #HelpStopOverdoses #SponsoredContent

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