Community gathers to raise awareness for fentanyl crisis

[anvplayer video=”5180548″ station=”998131″]

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Family members of Paige Gibbons — who died from an accidental fentanyl overdose last November — joined speakers at Nazareth University Wednesday night to raise awareness about the dangers of the drug epidemic.

David and Kate Gibbons hope Paige’s story can help save lives.

“We thought it was really important to get the information out to others in the community so we can support each other and hopefully prevent this from happening to anyone else,” says Kate.

Paige Gibbons, 19, died the weekend before Thanksgiving 2022 after taking one pill bought off Instagram, thinking it was Percocet.

Her parents said that actually was 100% fentanyl.

“I feel like an open conversation needs to start as early as possible so that the conversation is really normalized, so that all of sudden you aren’t having a big sit down with your kids,” says Kate.

Reasons why members of the Monroe County Heroin Task force joined speakers like clinical-forensic science consultant James Wesley to raise awareness about the dangers of fentanyl.

“Sometimes they go to a party and somebody has a Xanax or a Percocet, and they go ‘hey, it’s just a tablet.’ And now that it’s in these tablets, it opens up a whole new realm overdose and death,” Wesley said.

Parents and people across the community are urged to take advantage of resources that are available and be weary of online traps.

“You need to be tuned in because of social media, where Paige got her drugs was from a drug dealer actively selling on Instagram. They are brazen,” David said.