Wisconsin Spotlight | Oct. 31, 2022
On May 15, 2014, Lauri Badura got the call parents dread. Her 19-year-old son Archie was dead.
Archie was the victim of an accidental fentanyl overdose. He was, at the time, 77 days into recovery. He was one of six drug-overdose fatalities in his Wisconsin county that weekend alone.
Badura had no idea what fentanyl was then. She has spent the past eight years spreading the word about the deadly synthetic opioid through the nonprofit Saving Others for Archie (SOFA) so parents everywhere can be saved from getting such a call.
“Eight years later and this thing has blown up,” she told Wisconsin Spotlight. “Right now we’re losing 9,000 citizens a month to fentanyl across America.”
Fentanyl overdoses have become the leading cause of death of Americans ages 18-45. It is a national emergency made so much worse by President Joe Biden’s dangerous porous border policies that have allowed a flood of fentanyl and other dangerous illegal drugs to flow into communities large and small, like Oconomowoc, where Badura has waged her battle to save lives.
Biden’s own Department of Drug Enforcement warns that fentanyl is the deadliest drug threat facing America. In 2021, a record 107,622 Americans died from a drug poisoning or overdose. The brunt of those deaths — nearly two-thirds — can be attributed to synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. Seizures of the deadly drug at the Southern border have surged.
“Fentanyl kills more people age 18-45 than car accidents, suicide, or COVID-19,” said U,S. Rep. Bryan Steil (R-Janesville). “We cannot stand by and watch as Americans are being killed by the flood of fentanyl related substances coming into our country. It is past time for President Biden to take seriously the need to secure our border, and make permanent fentanyl related substances Schedule 1 classification.”
Now, stories about fentanyl candy have parents understandably concerned as their kids get ready for trick-or-treating.
“One of the consequences of near-nonexistent border security is the mounting death toll due to preventable drug smuggling and unsafe crossings,” the Heritage Foundation’s Simon Hankinson recently wrote.
“On my first day in Texas, the San Antonio Express-News headline was “Teen’s overdose death part of a troubling trend.” With the recent discovery of Fentanyl disguised as Nerds and Skittles candy, there is no end in sight to the current crisis of drug overdoses…”
Badura’s organization is desperately trying to get the word out. They’ve got billboards with the faces of some of the drug’s young victims. One digital billboard in New York’s Times Square declares fentanyl the “new ‘F’ word.”
Badura said it’s time to treat this killer like the crisis it is.
“I don’t understand why every single politician, every single citizen, every single parent isn’t out there screaming, “We need help!”” she said. “This is out of control.”