KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Libby and Randy Davis lost their 16-year-old son Cooper in 2021 to a fentanyl overdose.
Tuesday is National Fentanyl Awareness Day, but the Davis family uses everyday to spread awareness about the deadly drug.
“I’d probably tell someone everyday about this, but today is an easy day to tell someone about it,” Randy Davis said.
Libby Davis said spreading awareness helps keep her son's legacy alive.
“Everyday is a day of awareness for us, so he can still be living with us as we do this type of work,” Libby Davis said.
It's been less than two years since the powerful synthetic opioid killed their son.
“Immediately, we wanted to warn others, because we were not aware of the of the illicit fentanyl epidemic that was happening,” Libby Davis said. “He was a real adventurous kid, real out going, never met a stranger."
The couple says their mission now is to protect other parents from experiencing the pain of losing a child.
“Cooper would want us to help people, so that’s kind of how I look at it,” Randy Davis said. “My next thought is, we are trying to help other families so they don’t have to go through what we did."
John Schrock, assistant special agent in charge with the Drug Enforcement Agency, says fentanyl overdose is now the leading cause of death for people 18 to 45.
“Two milligrams of fentanyl, which is just a little bit of powder that would cover the head of a pencil — a little bit of fentanyl is a lethal dose,” Schrock said. "The message that you often hear is, 'One pill can kill.' It's truly a risk that is not worth taking.”
Schrock said the drug can be in pill or powder form.
“Young adults among each other, parents with their children, siblings with each other, friend-to-friend — those are all opportunities to express the concern about the chance of taking a substance that you are not confident in its contents,” Schrock said.
As the fentanyl crisis continues, the Davis family said they won't stop their work and will continue to honor Cooper,
“Cooper is still a very important member of our family, he always will be,” Libby Davis said. “But doing the work that we do keeps him at the center of our family and keeps us very close to him."