‘I don’t want other parents to go through this’ | East Tennessee mom fighting against fentanyl crisis

Andrea Teter plans to rally at the White House with Lost Voices of Fentanyl, a non-profit devoted to educating the public on fentanyl poisoning.
East Tennessee mom fighting against fentanyl crisis
Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 7:14 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - “They took Alec away and I never got to tell him goodbye, and it was the worst thing any parent can endure.”

Andrea Teter lost her 21-year-old son, Alec Teter, to fentanyl poisoning in March of 2022. Alec was a star athlete and was described by the community as a shining light.

“He had a heart as big as this whole world,” Andrea said. “He was like all the things that all of us wish we could kinda live our life by.”

Andrea said the news of Alec’s death came as a shock. She didn’t know much about fentanyl but wished she could’ve warned her son.

“Unless you’ve lost a child like this, people don’t understand the dangers. I didn’t know about fentanyl,” Andrea said.

According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration, a dose of fentanyl as small as 2 mg, comparable to a few grains of salt, could be deadly. The synthetic opioid is now being added to street drugs, including cocaine and even marijuana.

“One pill can kill. It’s as simple as that,” Andrea said. “I don’t want it to happen to other people. I don’t want other parents to go through this. I wish I had been educated. I wish I knew,” Andrea said.

Now Andrea is using her tragedy to warn parents. She is encouraging them to educate their children that the days of experimenting are over.

Andrea’s story isn’t uncommon. Thousands have died from fentanyl poisoning in the U.S. This Saturday, Andrea and hundreds of bereaved families are demanding change by rallying at the nation’s biggest stage, The White House.

“There’s so much that our justice system can do to take down these criminals. So much. And they need to be doing it,” Andrea said.

Andrea will join Lost Voices of Fentanyl, a non-profit devoted to public awareness, education and prevention of illicit fentanyl poisoning. The group will present their concerns to President Biden and other government leaders and urge them to create policies to combat the fentanyl crisis.

“It makes you angry. You want your voice heard. You want your story told. And Alec’s life mattered,” Andrea said. “You can’t take it back, but you can take your pain and turn it into purpose.”