HUTTO, Texas (KXAN) — More and more people are losing their lives to fentanyl and Central Texas isn’t immune from this growing problem.
Many teens have also fallen victim to fentanyl overdoses. Rebecca Benavides says her son Ryan Garcia or King Ryan as she calls him died at just 17 years old.
”I wish every day he would walk in and say Momma I am home,” said Benavides.
Garcia was a student at Akins High School and died in 2022. Benavides says she got a late-night call that something was wrong with her son, but when she arrived it was too late.
”When we got there he was just lying there,” said Benavides. “We found little blue pills”
Benavides says the pill he took had fentanyl in it.
”When our son passed, he not only changed our life, but he changed ours too,” said Benavides.
”He was my big cousin,” said Dennis Benavides. “We always did everything together…It really hurts that he is gone.”
Dennis wanted to do something to raise awareness about the dangers of fentanyl and the tragic death of his cousin. So, he made shirts with the faces of people who have died from the deadly drug.
”I passed them out in everyone’s locker and when we got dressed I saw everyone put them on,” said Dennis.
Dennis says fentanyl is now on the minds of many high school students and he’s hoping to raise awareness about the dangers of experimenting with drugs.
”I think that if multiple schools did what we did then it would bring a lot of awareness,” said Dennis.
Benavides says she is proud of her nephew and all of his friends who wore the shirts. She is hoping more and more teens will take the time to learn about the dangers of fentanyl.
”I am very proud of the boys that stepped up and said we are going to do this and it was nice to see,” said Benavides.
The family has created a Facebook page to raise awareness about fentanyl.