Family of Cameron teen advocates for awareness after her overdose – KMBC Kansas City

For the first time in six years, the Drug Enforcement Agency has issued a public safety alert about the dangers of counterfeit pills.”which should tell you how much of a problem this is,” DEA Public Affairs Specialist Andree Swanson said. That warning rings too true for the family of Faith Richardson; they are making funeral arrangements for their daughter. The 17-year-old from Cameron died Sunday morning in Chillicothe. Chillicothe police say she “ingested counterfeit ‘prescription’ pills. Since the pills are counterfeit, they sometimes contain dangerous amounts of controlled substances which cause overdosing up to death. Officers arrested a 23-year0old and a 33-year-old in the case.Faith’s family game the following state to KMBC:”Faith was such a bubbly person, she always made you feel welcomed. (She) had a heart of gold! Her attitude was contagious! Her smile made my day brighter! Her goals were to (study) sociology psychology and help people! She loved wrestling, softball, hanging with her friends, listening to music. She had just started a job at Wal-Mart. She went shopping for her grandma and helped the community out when she could. She was loving life.Now she is gone forever in the arms of Jesus! I have a huge hole in me that will never be filled. I think we all know teenagers are reckless at times and try new things! I tried so hard to protect Faith from drugs but they are everywhere. Make sure your children are aware of what these fake pills look like and feel comfortable talking to someone who will guide them.”Doctors and law enforcement officers warn the pills Faith’s family and police say she took are prevalent throughout the Kansas City area, and the Midwest. For years, KMBC has told you about the epidemic of pills in the Midwest. “It’s Xanax, Percocet, and OxyContin,” said Swanson.If anything, the problem has grown; counterfeit pills laced with illegal drugs. Those pills often come from multiple highways that pass through Kansas City. The Swanson says her branch of the DEA covers Kansas, Missouri, and south of St. Louis. In the last 12 months, DEA agents have seized as many pills as they had for the previous 24 months. “So if we’re seeing it,” Swanson said via Zoom, “and that’s the stuff we’re stopping – and overdose deaths are up – this is bad.”Belton Regional Medical Center sits off one of those highways, just south of Grandview and Kansas City.”Honestly, through the pandemic, we’ve seen the overdoses increase,” said Belton Regional’s COO Tiffany Mason. Belton Regional has one of the area’s busiest ERs, and a Level III Trauma Unit. It’s seen many overdose patients come through its doors.”I think opioid misuse has been there for ages,” said Mason. “I think it’s definitely been highlighted more recently as we see those drugs be laced with other illegal drugs. And we see the increase in the youth population utilizing these drugs.”As both Mason and Swanson told KMBC, “One pill can kill.”Saturday is the National Drug Takeback Day. Several HCA Hospitals in the Kansas City region are taking part between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., including Belton, Centerpoint Medical Center, Lee’s Summit Medical Center, and Research Brookside Campus.

For the first time in six years, the Drug Enforcement Agency has issued a public safety alert about the dangers of counterfeit pills.

“which should tell you how much of a problem this is,” DEA Public Affairs Specialist Andree Swanson said.

That warning rings too true for the family of Faith Richardson; they are making funeral arrangements for their daughter.

The 17-year-old from Cameron died Sunday morning in Chillicothe. Chillicothe police say she “ingested counterfeit ‘prescription’ pills. Since the pills are counterfeit, they sometimes contain dangerous amounts of controlled substances which cause overdosing up to death. Officers arrested a 23-year0old and a 33-year-old in the case.

Faith’s family game the following state to KMBC:

“Faith was such a bubbly person, she always made you feel welcomed. (She) had a heart of gold! Her attitude was contagious! Her smile made my day brighter! Her goals were to (study) sociology psychology and help people! She loved wrestling, softball, hanging with her friends, listening to music. She had just started a job at Wal-Mart. She went shopping for her grandma and helped the community out when she could. She was loving life.

Now she is gone forever in the arms of Jesus! I have a huge hole in me that will never be filled. I think we all know teenagers are reckless at times and try new things! I tried so hard to protect Faith from drugs but they are everywhere. Make sure your children are aware of what these fake pills look like and feel comfortable talking to someone who will guide them.”

Doctors and law enforcement officers warn the pills Faith’s family and police say she took are prevalent throughout the Kansas City area, and the Midwest. For years, KMBC has told you about the epidemic of pills in the Midwest. “It’s Xanax, Percocet, and OxyContin,” said Swanson.

If anything, the problem has grown; counterfeit pills laced with illegal drugs. Those pills often come from multiple highways that pass through Kansas City. The Swanson says her branch of the DEA covers Kansas, Missouri, and south of St. Louis.

In the last 12 months, DEA agents have seized as many pills as they had for the previous 24 months. “So if we’re seeing it,” Swanson said via Zoom, “and that’s the stuff we’re stopping – and overdose deaths are up – this is bad.”

Belton Regional Medical Center sits off one of those highways, just south of Grandview and Kansas City.

“Honestly, through the pandemic, we’ve seen the overdoses increase,” said Belton Regional’s COO Tiffany Mason.

Belton Regional has one of the area’s busiest ERs, and a Level III Trauma Unit. It’s seen many overdose patients come through its doors.

“I think opioid misuse has been there for ages,” said Mason. “I think it’s definitely been highlighted more recently as we see those drugs be laced with other illegal drugs. And we see the increase in the youth population utilizing these drugs.”

As both Mason and Swanson told KMBC, “One pill can kill.”

Saturday is the National Drug Takeback Day. Several HCA Hospitals in the Kansas City region are taking part between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., including Belton, Centerpoint Medical Center, Lee’s Summit Medical Center, and Research Brookside Campus.

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