Death of son spurs mom to push for drug awareness

LIMA — Diane Urban has taken on the task of making people aware of the drug problem in Ohio and other states caused by the drugs streaming across the southern border from Mexico. She shared her message with the Lima Rotary Club at their weekly meeting.

The fentanyl crisis in America and especially in Ohio has reached alarming levels. According to the Ohio Department of Health, fentanyl was involved in 81% of overdose deaths in 2020, often in combination with other drugs. Fentanyl was involved in 83% of all heroin-related overdose deaths, 80% of all cocaine-related overdose deaths, and 79% of all psychostimulant/methamphetamine-related overdose deaths.

Diane Urban, Founder and President of Association of People Against Lethal Drugs, has a mission to educate about the dangers of drugs and hopefully to get legislative help to rid the state of the scourge of drugs circulating in Ohio.

“We’re losing approximately 300 people a day to opioids. That’s 300 a day, every day we’re losing the whole generation and things are not getting better,” Urban said.

Urban’s son Jordan Garmatter died on April 6, 2019, from unknowingly taking fentanyl and norfentanyl.

“My story started with my son Jordan, who was 24 years old. He had a wisdom tooth going in the wrong way and he couldn’t get to a dentist right away. So he went to get his drug of choice, Urban said. “What he got was illicit fentanyl. About 100%. He had enough in his system to kill six people. I knew I had to do something to help bring awareness because no parent should have to bury their child. It’s just a neverending pain that I’ll live with for the rest of my life.”

It is APALD’s hope that it can help the general public, government, lawmakers and law enforcement to understand the extent of the issue. More importantly, it is the group’s hope that parents and families across the nation are made aware that the fentanyl and other synthetics that kill more than 295 people per day in our nation, is not isolated to those suffering substance use disorder, but every child who may try a recreational/street drug or any other related substance.

APALD will be holding its 13th annual nationwide rallies on Saturday May 6, 2023. Last year, 38 cities participated. In Ohio Cleveland, Beavercreek, Akron and Columbus held rallies.

Reach Dean Brown at 567-242-0409

Dean Brown joined The Lima News in 2022 as a reporter. Prior to The Lima News, Brown was an English teacher in Allen County for 38 years, with stops at Perry, Shawnee, Spencerville and Heir Force Community School. So they figured he could throw a few sentences together about education and business in the area. An award-winning photographer, Brown likes watching old black and white movies, his dog, his wife and kids, and the four grandkids - not necessarily in that order. Reach him at [email protected] or 567-242-0409.