Image courtesy of the Yakima Police Department

When Conner Clark died in 2013, nobody in either the United States or Canada was talking about fentanyl. CBC News notes that “there were no public warnings, no coordinated response from health officials or government, and nowhere for his family to go for answers.”

However Clark lost her 21-year-old son to fentanyl poisoning, and now she is trying to help other parents by educating about what an incredible danger fentanyl can be to their children.

It was almost 2 years later public health officials began attempting to address the burgeoning public health crisis that fentanyl was creating in Canada, notes CBC.

In late 2015, 3 people in San Francisco, California died after taking counterfeit Xanax made with fentanyl. This marked one of the earliest public health notices in the United States about what would become a national health epidemic.

The Calgary Herald profiled Clark’s efforts alongside another mother, Sharon Shubert, who lost her son to opioids. Clark explained to a group in Chestermere, Canada just how hard it has been to have lost Conner, “This drug took Conner’s future, dreams and goals, all gone forever, as well as family trips, dinners and family conversations. I will never see my Conner as a father or a husband. I will always see him as 21.”