HAMPTON ROADS, Va. — Two weeks after Makayla Cox turned 16 years old, she lost her life.
Her mother, Shannon Doyle, said they watched movies together during the snowstorm on Jan. 21. By the time morning came, Cox was found dead in her bed.
The toxicology report shows that Cox died from fentanyl poisoning.
“I knew the moment that I walked in and saw her that it was too late,” said Doyle.
Cox was an only child with a bright and bubbly personality.
Her mom said she was an honor roll student at Ocean Lakes High School, cheered competitively when she was younger and competed on the gymnastics team.
“She made friends so easily. We couldn’t walk into Walmart without her making friends,” said Doyle.
Doyle said her house was always filled with Cox's friends.
Police found blue pills in her daughter's room. She said she knew her daughter had tried a few pills, and wanted to immediately get her to a treatment facility.
Cox's mom said she wanted her daughter enrolled in some kind of program because she knew how quickly a drug problem can spiral out of control.
“I was told that because of her age, unless she volunteered to do it, she couldn’t because at 14, they have the right to refuse treatment,” said Doyle.
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) reported drug overdoses in the first half of 2021 were already 22% higher than the year prior, likely making 2021 the deadliest overdose year. They predict more than 2,600 lives to be lost this year.
Doyle said there is no way her daughter wanted to take fentanyl. She believes that Cox unknowingly took the poisonous drug, which can kill someone within moments of taking it.
Doyle said lacing drugs isn’t new, but lacing drugs with fentanyl is extremely concerning and happening throughout the region.
Now, she’s created an online petition in hopes of changing the law and forcing kids under 18 into drug treatment in hopes of preventing more deaths. You can sign the petition here.
“Obviously, you can’t trust who you’re getting your drugs from. Clearly, they care about their money and their next customer. They don’t care what they give you — even if it kills you,” said Doyle.