Project Trey holding fundraiser for drug abuse education

Published: Jun. 15, 2023 at 9:09 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - A mother who lost her son to an overdose is holding a fundraiser for her nonprofit that aims to educate the public about the dangers of substance abuse.

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is the leading cause of death in the U.S. for people aged 18 to 45. Many here in Southwest Louisiana have been victims of accidental poisoning and overdoses.

“My son’s name is Trey, and when he was around 15 years old he was given drugs,” Project Trey founder Tonya Doucette said.

Doucette said addiction took over her son’s life quickly. In November 2020, he died of an accidental fentanyl overdose.

“He was actually going to start a new job, and for some reason, a friend had given him and he accepted one pill. It was a pill that he thought was just a pain med, and we had later found that it was full of fentanyl,” she said.

It’s a story that licensed addiction counselor Traci Hedrick said she hears repeatedly.

“If they are doing unsafe medication practices and saying, oh I’m going to take something from my friend because he has an extra Adderall or Xanax, or he has an extra pain pill and I’ll just take it from him because I trust him. You don’t really know where that comes from. The point is you really don’t know. Unless it comes from a pharmacy prescribed to you by a physician, it is really not safe,” Hedrick said.

The opioid crisis led Louisiana lawmakers to legalize fentanyl testing strips in hopes to save lives.

“We can say just quit until we’re blue in the face, but we know that’s not a reality for a lot of people,” Hedrick said.

Fentanyl testing strips allow people to test their supply of a drug such as meth, cocaine or pills to see if there’s fentanyl in the mix.

A single pink line on the left-hand side indicates that fentanyl has been detected. Two pink lines indicate that fentanyl or a fentanyl analog has not been detected in your drugs.

Though it is not the solution to the epidemic, it is a preventative measure that may save a life.

“Reach out, reach out to someone, educate yourselves. As parents, talk to your kids, because I mean, we’re seeing kids in elementary school,” Hedrick said.

Project Trey’s fundraiser kicks off Friday, June 16, with a silent auction, followed by a tennis tournament on Saturday at the Lake Charles Racquet Club (870 W. Bayou Pines Dr.).

All proceeds will go toward fighting addiction.

The event is open to the public with amenities served. For more information, you can visit: https://projecttrey.org/