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America’s ‘new f-word’

By M.D. Kittle

MADISON — For a parent, no pain can compare with losing a child. Lauri Badura lost her son Archie to the scourge of fentanyl.

“No mother wants to wake up and have to find the news that their child has been taken. This is something that is taking over America. This is the biggest crisis, I think, that we’ve ever faced as a nation,” the Oconomowoc woman recently told Fox News.

Archie was just 19 years old in 2014 when he died of an accidental fentanyl overdose. Synthetic opioid overdoses, primarily fentanyl, claimed 1,280 lives in Wisconsin last year — an increase of nearly 100 percent since 2019, according to the state Department of Health Services.

Nobody was really talking about the problem when Archie died from a substance laced with the deadly drug. He had no idea he wasn’t going to wake up, that he was going to die.

“Archie was beautiful – blue eyes, kind-hearted and full of life. And our family is devastated.,” Badura  said. “My husband Andy and my son Augie, we go every single day with our hearts broken, and we refuse to not tell others across America.”

She launched SOFA Inc. — SAVING OTHERS FOR ARCHE — with the goal of providing hope and resources at the county, state and federal levels. To alert anyone who will listen about the horrors of this killer pill.

Badura recently begged the Biden administration to do something about the flood of fentanyl pouring into America’s porous border.

“I’m pleading with our administration to do something. We have to do something about this border,” she said at a recent roundtable discussion hosted by U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Oshkosh).

President Joe Biden’s disastrous open border policies have emboldened drug cartels to infest U.S. cities and small towns alike with highly addictive and deadly opioids. Between October and June, 8,425 pounds of fentanyl was seized in the U.S. — 60% of that by U.S. Customs and Border Protection law enforcement agencies in San Diego and Imperial Counties, according to the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Southern District of California.  Untold amounts are passing through undetected.

Johnson, a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, held the roundtable discussion earlier this month to shed light on the “unprecedented flood of illegal immigrants, the deadly effects of unregulated fentanyl and the Biden administration’s failure to secure the border.”

“Americans need to understand the grotesque reality of the Biden Administration’s open borders policy,” the senator said. “Children are trafficked, women are assaulted. In 2021, over 500 people died in the desert trying to cross our southern borders.”

And overdose deaths involving opioids increased from an estimated 70,029 in 2020 to 80,816 in 2021. That’s no accident.

U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Minocqua) held a telephone town hall discussion last week with Marathon County Sheriff Scott Parks. The 42-year law enforcement veteran said he’s worked in patrol, undercover investigations, the detective unit and as a chief deputy before serving as sheriff.

“I have seen a multitude of changes occurring in the criminal justice system. The current trends are not working, especially for safeguarding our law-abiding citizen’s expectations,” Parks said.

Twenty people died of drug overdoses last year in northcentral Wisconsin’s Marathon County. Fourteen of those deaths involved fentanyl. Almost half of the victims, nine people, were in their 30s, WSAW reported. Seven of the 20 victims had previously overdosed within the year prior to their deaths.

Badura, her organization and others just like it recently launched a digital billboard campaign alerting motorists to “America’s new f word.” There’s one on I-94, near Highway 16, in Waukesha County, where public officials recently declared fentanyl a community health crisis. There’s also a giant billboard in New York’s Times Square. It shows some of the victims of the epidemic.

“I’m pleading with our administration to do something,” Badura said. “It’s flooding. It’s killing our families. We’re losing our nation of young adults.”

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