JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Megan Whitaker was only 29 years old when she went to sleep and didn’t wake up.
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“They say grief is pent-up love that has nowhere to go,” Keyla Morgan, the woman’s mother, said. “It comes in waves.”
The blonde-haired woman loved to cheer, sing and swim. Morgan said her daughter was kind and recounted a time when they drove down the street and Megan began waving at a woman who appeared to be homeless.
“Well, she was sitting outside Publix one day and I [Megan] asked her if she was hungry, so I bought a sub and sat and had lunch with her. We prayed together mom, and we’ve been friends ever since,” Morgan said, recalling what Megan told her that day in the car.
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Morgan is approaching her third Christmas without her daughter.
“She smoked a joint to go to sleep, and she never woke up,” Morgan said. “In June, we received the autopsy, and it was marijuana laced with fentanyl.”
A recent report from USA Facts shows that 70,601 people died from fentanyl overdoses in the country in 2021. That’s 26 times higher than a decade ago. The Drug Enforcement Administration recently found that 6 out of 10 fentanyl-laced pills have a lethal dose of the drug.
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Morgan wants to warn families of the dangers of fentanyl-laced drugs. She said whether it’s marijuana or something else, you often cannot know the source of where it’s coming from or whether it has been laced with something deadly.
“It can happen to absolutely anyone,” Morgan said.
The Florida Department of Health has just added a higher dose of naloxone to its arsenal. This is in an effort to help emergency responders deal with the opioid crisis.
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