MONUMENT, Colo. — Fentanyl overdoses in the U.S. are now considered the number one cause of death for adults between 18 and 45 years old, according to data compiled by Families Against Fentanyl.
A Monument parent says we need to wake up and do something before it takes another life. He wants people to know this potential drug doesn’t just affect drug addicts but good kids who just make one bad choice.
Matt Riviere lost both of his sons on July 25, 2021, to Fentanyl. He now wants to raise awareness so others don’t make the same deadly mistake.
“They were good kids, and had a good impact on their friends, they were really loved by their friends,” Riviere said.
21-year-old Andrew and 19-year-old Stephen Riviere had so much life to live. Andrew was artistic with music and had a mind to make things while Stephen had recently graduated high school and was figuring out what he wanted to do in life.
“They were twenty months apart, so they were the classic best of friends, worst of enemies, but they were very close and they enjoyed their time together, had similar interests,” Riviere added.
Just six weeks before his death, he moved out of his parent’s house to live with his brother. One night the boys made a life-ending decision to take what they thought was Oxycodone.
“It was laced with Fentanyl and they called it the blue M-30, and I had never heard of it and it took their lives on July 25,” Riviere explained. “Had I known about Fentanyl we could have had a conversation and said hey guys don’t do this, this is playing with your life, this Russian Roulette with your life but the odds are 40% that you are going to get a bad pill.”
According to the CDC, Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than Heroin and 100 times than Morphine.
“It doesn’t discriminate, and it’s one and done, it’s just one time,” Riviere said.
Even though his sons are no longer by his side, he keeps their memory alive by carrying on their family traditions, and now he’s leaning on his grief with action.
“I have made the decision that I won’t be silent in my suffering, too many kids out there that are making bad choices every day that is costing them their lives, and then the effect on them it’s huge, their family, their friends, that person is gone forever,” Riviere said.
Andrew would have turned 22 on Monday, March 21.
Riviere along with other parents who have lost loved ones to Fentanyl is working with legislators to have resources for recovering addicts and harsher drug penalties. Right now, four grams of a drug in Colorado is considered a misdemeanor but four grams of Fentanyl could kill more than a thousand people.