The important reason this Virginia mother started billboard campaign: 'Your family is not immune'

'It can affect every family regardless of your age, where you live, socioeconomic status, race -- it doesn't matter...'
Virginia Beach mother starts billboard campaign
Posted at 2:40 PM, Mar 30, 2023

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. -- More than 1,000 Hampton Roads residents have been lost to fentanyl since 2010, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

Now some of their faces are on billboards all over Hampton Roads, spearheaded by Virginia Beach mother Shannon Doyle, who lost her 16-year-old daughter Makayla Cox to fentanyl poisoning in January of 2022.

"It's amazing but sad at the same time to see your own child and so many others on billboards that are no longer here," said Doyle.

Cox was a gifted gymnast and cheerleader, an honor roll student, and a sophomore at Ocean Lakes High School. Doyle recalls the moment she knew her daughter was gone.

"As soon as I walked into her bedroom I knew, I knew that she had passed," said Doyle.

Virginia Beach mother starts billboard campaign

The billboards serve as a conversation starter for the Hampton Roads community to know and understand the dangers of fentanyl.

"It's a reminder of what fentanyl is doing in our communities," said DEA Special Agent in Charge Jarod Forget.

Forget said the fentanyl crisis is hitting the Commonwealth hard.

"We seized over 113,000 fake pills just in Virginia alone in 2022, and 122 pounds of fentanyl powder, that equates to over 4 million deadly doses, that's enough to kill over half the population of Virginia," said Forget.

The synthetic opioid is extremely deadly; only two milligrams is enough to be fatal.

"Your family is not immune, it can affect every family regardless of your age, where you live, socioeconomic status, race, it doesn't matter it can affect your family," said Forget.

To get more information about fentanyl and learn more about the DEA initiative One Pill Can Kill, click here.



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