BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Tougher penalties could be heading to Fentanyl dealers in the state of Louisiana. This comes at a time when overdoses are at an all-time high.
According to the East Baton Rouge Parish Coroner’s Office, there have been 51 overdose deaths in the parish in 2023. However, one Louisiana organization and its members are trying to change those statistics and enact change statewide and on the local level.
“I didn’t get the chance to tell her goodbye, but if I did I would have told her how much she meant to me. You know I love all my children, but she was my first. She was my person,” said Angele Mixon.
26-year-old Kailyn Kaough was found unresponsive in her Mid-City Apartment in Baton Rouge on February 28, 2021.
“They called my family and they came out and they collected me and brought me home and I don’t remember the first five days after that,” said Mixon.
Mixon said she will never stop fighting to get fentanyl off the streets. Her daughter’s death was blamed on the powerful drug.
“I want her to know, I will never stop,” said Mixon. “If I could keep one phone from ringing in the middle of the night to tell you that your child is dead, then it’s worth it because it is the worst.”
Now, Mixon and Millie Mattered are calling for change.
“Parents need to know that this is serious. This is so serious, this is a crisis,” said Tracy Mayo, Chairman, Millie Mattered.
Mayo is a chairman of the drug epidemic awareness group. Mayo volunteers her time in honor of her son Anthony who also died from a fentanyl overdose.
“If I can save somebody and save another mom from feeling the hurt and heart-wrenching pain that I wake up to and that I go to sleep to every day, then I would do that. There is nothing I wouldn’t do to help,” said Mayo.
Just last year, they went to D.C. to pass Millie’s Law. The law states distribution that causes serious bodily injury can result in a five to 40-year prison sentence. In this legislative session, the organization has other goals in mind.
“We are trying to pass a new law, which is going to amend Millie’s law and make it a life sentence,” said Mayo.
“We are learning about working on a bill with Senator Womack to try to make those die kits illegal or at least require licensing,” said Mixon.
Until then it’s going to be an uphill battle. However, Mixon and Mayo hope through awareness they can prevent future deaths.
Louisiana Representative John Stefanski recently introduced a bill that could make it a life sentence for drug dealers and manufacturers who possess more than 28 grams of fentanyl. Lawmakers will vote on the bill in April.
Millie Mattered will also hold an event on Sunday, April 2 to bring awareness to the drug epidemic in Baton Rouge. It will be held on the steps of the state capitol at 10 a.m. Attorney General Jeff Landry and Senator Glenn Womack are expected to speak. The event is open to the public.
Click here for more information about Millie Mattered.