One pill can kill: Dalton’s Story

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 1:32 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Overdose deaths reached a record high amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Every day more Americans and our fellow Alabamians are dying.

“It’s the most horrible thing to hear as a mama that your child has gone,” says Kelly Colley.

Kelly heard those words on June 16, 2021. Her son Dalton, just 24 years old, had died. Months later, she says it’s still hard for her to believe.

“It’s like It’s like losing the most favorite thing that you can possess, and you try to look for it and you still can’t find it,” Kelly said.

Kelly remembers a little boy who was full of life and love.

“He was always smiling,” Kelly recalls.

Dalton had also been dealing with anxiety. Kelly says he took an off-market Xanax, not knowing what else was in the pill.

“It was pressed with cocaine and fentanyl. I don’t think of it as an overdose; it was a poisoning,” Kelly added.

Kelly calls it chemical warfare on our children. Through her grief, she’s on a mission to help other families and warns parents that drug dealers use social media and video games to connect with kids.

“It’s being pushed through Instagram through TikTok, through Snapchat to kids, young kids,” Kelly said. “These children have no idea what they’re purchasing.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, as of August, at least 70,000 deaths were caused by synthetic opioid overdoses, including teens and young adults like Dalton.

With his death, so many hopes and dreams also died. Kelly finds comfort in everyday reminders of her son, like his car that sits in her driveway or the red bird that comes to visit every day.

“I’ve got a cardinal that comes up to my bird feeder every day,” Kelly said. “I leave the door open and it’s gotten to where I can hear. I can hear it every day, and it’s just like him letting me know that he’s still there.”

When it comes to talking to your children about the dangers of these drugs, the Drug Enforcement Administration says first educate yourself. Also, keep watch of your children’s habits and interactions on and offline. Be sure to look for a change in their behavior and question any quick trips to meet a friend outside the home.

Kelly says you should not only have an open and honest conversation with your children but with your friends too, so they are aware of the dangers.

Watch this story Thursday night on WSFA 12 News at 6 p.m.

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