AKRON, Ohio —Jim Rauh knows all too well the consequences of fentanyl overdoses. He lost his son to the deadly drug.
- According to the Ohio DOH, fentanyl is involved in nearly 73 percent of overdose deaths in the state
- A newly-formed group wants the U.S. government to declare the substance a weapon of mass destruction
- The group is undertaking a national grass roots campaign
"This is a deep national security concern, we're very afraid of the additional consequences of this material falling into the wrong hands," said Rauh, who is the executive director of Families Against Fentantyl.
Now he's forming a group called Families Against Fentanyl, in hopes of saving lives and declaring the substance a weapon of mass destruction.
"I think that having it declared a weapon of mass destruction will give law enforcement the tools necessary to interdict in the supply and stop this before it spreads," Rauh said.
Cindy Demaio has her own organization — Rachel's Angels. She started it after she lost her 17-year-old daughter to a carfentanil overdose. She educates children, parents and schools about the drug epidemic.
She was the strongest person I've ever met, so to have her pass away in my arms from experimenting to becoming addicted is truly a tragedy and that's what's happening, these families are just being devastated," said Demaio.
Demaio is joining forces with Families Against Fentanyl, a group now undertaking a national grass roots campaign.
In 2017, the United States Justice Department indicted Chinese manufacturers of deadly fentanyl and other opiate substances.
Now, Families Against Fentanyl are working to turn it into a class action lawsuit and crush what they consider "the modern-day plague killing our community."
"Thousands and thousands of pounds of this fentanyl is coming into the United States and there is far more than could ever be used by the amount of current addicts," said Rauh.