Mother of overdose victim tells her son’s story: ‘I’ll never forget that day’

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Over 180 people in Monroe County are believed to have lost their lives to a drug overdose this year.

On International Overdose Awareness Day, the community remembered them with the hope of preventing more deaths.

Lots of mothers will say that losing their child is their biggest fear. Two years ago, that fear became a reality for Lori Drescher.

“I’ll never forget that day,” says Lori. “I’ll never forget that the whole first year. Now we’re in our third year, which is unbelievable. And every day is hard. Every day is hard.

Jonathan Drescher’s drug addiction started when he was in high school — smoking marijuana.

His drug use quickly turned into hard drugs; as he switched to oxycodone.

“My son knew he was addicted when he tried to stop taking the pills and he became violently ill. So he was addicted. By the age of 21, he was shooting heroin, and then it just progressively got worse,” Lori said.

Lori says she was always trying to support Jonathan, pushing him to get extra help after leaving rehab early.

“Because after rehab is the most dangerous time for anybody. It’s the time when we need to wrap them in supports and yet we send them out on their own. And that’s what happened to Jonathan the next morning when he started having cravings,” Lori said.

Right after Jonathan got out, he used again. But this time, what he took was laced with fentanyl. His roommate discovered his body the next day.

“At the time she found him, he was gone,” said Lori. “The coroner said that he probably passed around 3:00 in the morning. You know, and she found him at 11. So there was no was no chance for him.”

Now, Lori is a supporter for keeping those who have substance abuse issues safe.

“I advocate for closing down fentanyl labs and holding those accountable who are actually creating these substances. And I advocate for safe consumption sites for people who are at a point in their journey of use where any other option will result in their death,” Lori said.

Starting next week, Narcan —which reverses opioid overdoses — will be sold over the counter at most local drug stores and grocery chains.