It was a heartbreaking story. On an otherwise typical Friday night, two 19-year old adolescents with the world at their feet decided to take illicit pills…and paid for it with their lives.
A devastated aunt of one of the young men has taken to Facebook to warn others that all it takes is one bad decision to end a life. The post from Brandi Bundrick Nishnick tells the story of Gunner Bundrick and Jake Morales’ untimely end on November 2, 2018.
Nishnick says in the post:
“Gunner went out with friends on Friday night.
They came back to my brother’s house late and stayed up eating pizza and playing video games – like most 19-year-old boys do.
At some point during the evening, Gunner and his friend took a pill stamped Percocet. The very popular and easily accessible pain killer.
Gunner has no history of drug use, has never been a ‘problem child,’ was a star athlete, wonderful son and brother, and was extremely loved in his community.
We don’t know why he decided to take ‘a pill’ that night. The only thing we can assume is that the curiosity of knowing what the ‘high’ is like came into play? Again, we can only assume.
His friend also took a pill.
Both boys died, what we think was pretty immediately. Both went to sleep and never woke up. That’s the most positive thing in Gunner’s whole story – that he felt no pain and didn’t suffer. (Although positive is a generous way of putting it).
My sister-in-law, his mother, found both boys the next morning. She, and my nieces, tried to resuscitate, to no avail. Both boys had been dead for hours and there was nothing they or the paramedics could do.”
Fox News reported that the teens’ death was caused by a mixture of 4-ANPP, illicit drugs, and fentanyl.
Fentanyl has been to blame for an increasing number of overdoses. In fact, 2016 and 2017 were back-to-back, record-shattering years for overdose deaths.
Compounding this crisis is that it only takes a minimal dose of Fentanyl to be deadly – more than 400 to 500 micrograms carries extreme risk and death is likely at 700 micrograms and above – and it is now being mixed with a number of street drugs, without the knowledge of the end user in some cases.
“Basically, whether it’s pills, marijuana, heroin, or cocaine, you don’t know what you are getting,” said Justin Baksh, licensed mental health counselor and Chief Clinical Officer at Foundations Wellness Center. “A deadly dose of Fentanyl can be hiding out. You can’t see it, smell it, or taste it, and it can even be absorbed through the skin in some cases.”
So what do we do to try to stem the overwhelming tide of Fentanyl overdose deaths? “It’s about education,” said Baksh. “We need to talk to our youth about this.” Even if your child hasn’t ever thought about using drugs, he or she still needs to be educated about them.
“At some point, just about every child in America will be offered an illicit substance,” concludes Baksh. “The problem is that there is no such thing as recreational drug use. Even one time can mean death.”
Our children need to know they are playing with their lives by playing with drugs… and you can start by sharing Gunner’s story.