Mom says, “My daughter Amy was 25 and she died from an overdose of something that was laced with fentanyl.”

Bay County dealing with a serious opioid problem
Record Opioid Deaths
Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 10:51 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Paula Frederick was stunned when she learned her daughter had died from an accidental overdose.

“My daughter, Amy, was 25 and she died from an overdose of something that was laced with fentanyl, said Paula Frederick, Amy’s mom.

Opioid-related deaths are becoming all too common in Bay County.

“She was a great kid, she certainly wasn’t somebody you would look at that would do something like that,” said Frederick. “I think what’s happening is we’re not educated enough especially with the new drugs coming in.”

Bay County Sheriff’s investigators said fentanyl and heroin are coming from over the border and are making their way across the country including into our area.

“We’re seeing quite a bit of it here on our streets,” said David Higgins, an investigator with the office.

There were 31 suspected overdose deaths in Bay county alone in 2022. The sheriff’s office worked 17 of those cases.

“I think that any overdose death is too high and when we get into the teens or more... then yes, we have a problem,” said Higgins.

Lieutenant David Higgins said they will continue to fight the epidemic and put drug traffickers where they belong behind bars.

“A lot of problems we’re seeing here is pressed pills,” said Higgins. People think they are getting an opiate that is prescribed to someone by a doctor and it’s not it’s a pressed pill with fentanyl in it and people take it and they’re dying.”

With a record number of opioid deaths in the country, the FDA is considering making Narcan available without a prescription. Narcan reverses the effects of an overdose.

However, Lt. Higgins says you have to be trained to administer it and it has to be used within a certain time frame.

“I’m torn on the Narcan issue... yes it saves lives... it saves lives unfortunately it was too late for Amy,” said Frederick.

Frederick says she will soon be sharing her story with students.

“That these kids know how dangerous it is to take even a Tylenol from a friend you can’t do it anymore,” said Frederick.

She wants people to realize these drugs could kill them and leave behind a grieving mom just like her.

“I think if we don’t educate our youth on the fentanyl crisis it is just going to continue to take our kids,” said Frederick.

Kids just like Amy Frederick.