Recovering addict loses son to fentanyl, now raising awareness against deadly drug

Over the last two years, overdose deaths have increased 55%.
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 6:57 PM CDT
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JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - Drug enforcement officials are calling fentanyl a silent killer and over the last two years, overdose deaths have increased 55%.

Ricky Patrick’s son Blaine died after overdosing on fentanyl.

“His famous last words were ‘I’ll be OK, I have a high tolerance,’ Patrick said. “And guess what, he got something laced with it, and we had to bury him.”

It’s not the Patrick family’s first encounter with drugs. The multi-million dollar businessman has struggled with addiction himself. After eight years of sobriety, he recently had a relapse. He’s now housed at Home of Grace in Vancleave, a faith-based recovery program.

“While I was here, I actually lost my son,” he said. “It was eight months ago.”

Josh Barton is the executive director of Home of Grace. It’s a 120-bed men’s facility, offering counseling, prayer, and resources needed to recover.

According to drug enforcement officials, more people have died from overdosing than COVID-19 in Jackson County in the past year.

“I’ve seen more overdoses and deaths in the last four years than in probably the last 50 years before that,” Barton said. “I’m telling you, fentanyl has been a game-changer.”

Patrick is now well on his way to recovery, extending his three-month stay and serving in various capacities.

“As much money as I made and had, I was constantly searching to try and fill this void in here,” he said. “It couldn’t be filled.”

“We found that just helping people to understand they have a purpose, that God has a plan for their life,” Barton said. “It’s a vital, important factor in someone getting clean and sober.”

The Home of Grace serves over 600 men and women from across the nation every year.

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