CLEVELAND – Cathy Lawley of Willoughby Hills says her life has changed forever after losing 31-year-old son Michael Biellow to drugs on March 23, 2020.
Lawley issued a warning to all parents after Cuyahoga County reported drug-related deaths, prompting them to sit down and talk to their children or loved ones about the dangers of the fast-paced pursuit.
“Now that we are into a paradigm shift, this is no longer a heroin overdose, and I want to emphasize that,” Lawley said.
“He unknowingly received fentanyl and carfentanil. Fentanyl is an elephant̵7;s sedative.”
“Your kids might be out and about because they have a drug addiction problem. But they might be going to a party with someone else and talking about how they can get that height once. ”
“These are not drug overdoses, the kids who think they’re going to get something high and they’re not very high, they’re dying.”
Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr Thomas Gilson issued a public health warning on April 6, saying that at least 69 Cuyahoga County were damaged with suspected overdosage. Size in March
Gilson told News 5, if deaths continue at this rate, Cuyahoga County could find more than 700 deaths from drug overdoses.The last time Cuyahoga County had more than 700 deaths was in 2017. Additionally, there were 13 deaths from drug overdoses in the first five days of April.
Most deaths were caused by fentanyl and carfentanil.
Local authorities such as Cuyahoga County’s ADAMHS Committee and Opioid Safety’s MetroHealth System Office say the shocking rise of drug deaths has prompted them to motivate families to seek resources.
Beth Zietlow-DeJesus ADAMHS Director of External Affairs told News 5: Families should be on the lookout for signs of drug use and addiction.
“These are not statistics, they are humans, sisters, sisters, parents and children,” Zietlow-DeJesus said.
“People with substance use disorders have chronic brain ailments. They need medical care, counseling and care to improve.
“Look for secret behaviors, protect yourself, become irritable and easily angry.”
Kelly Cioletti, social work coordinator with MetroHealth’s Office of Opioid Security Systems, said News 5 was published with the Registration Service posted on West 25th Street in Cleveland, opposite MetroHealth Outpatient Pavilion Cioletti. Said the free Narcan kit and Fentanyl test strips are available Monday through Friday through Project DAWN.
“We’re available 24/7,” said Cioletti. “You don’t need an ID, you don’t need it, you can be a family member or a friend.”
“Everyone used to think this was a drug in the city and not anymore.”
“It’s shocking. It’s scary. You feel the family have to deal with this and it’s a pity to bury a loved one.”
At the same time, Lawley helped build “APALD,” which stands for Association of People Against Lethal Drugs. Lawley said the organization will hold a change in rally on June 4 in 30 cities across the county. Recognizing and supporting legal changes in the war against drugs reported by the CDC in 81,000 deaths in 2020.
Lawley said she did everything she could in honor of her son to help the family save the lives of their loved ones.
“I’ll tell him I love you more than you know, and I hold you in my heart every day and I’m your voice,” Lawley said.
“I know he wants me to keep going and keep trying and don’t shut up until I hear my voice.”