APALD Continues Fight Against Opioids with 2nd Annual Rally at Allen County Courthouse
Updated: Jul 1
By: Kelsey Mannix Jun 3, 2022
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) — Calling for action to combat the opioid epidemic. The Association of People Against Lethal Drugs rallied at the Allen County Courthouse to raise awareness about the impact these drugs have.
This was the second annual APALD rally, one of many in cities across the country. They’re about not only raising awareness but supporting each other through the grieving process. Disinger lost her 18-year-old son Lake to fentanyl seven months ago. “We should be celebrating graduation,” Ada Disinger said. She won’t forget his vibrant personality.
“When he walked into a room, all eyes were on him,” Disinger explained.
She is one of many who have lost loved ones who gathered at the Allen County Courthouse Friday evening, sharing their stories and putting out the message about the dangers of fentanyl. “I feel like that’s how we can give back for [Lake],” Disinger added. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows more than 2,700 died from drug overdoses last year in Indiana. Indiana’s drug overdose dashboard shows 138 in Allen County alone in the same time frame.
“It’s here, it’s in our community, it’s not going away,” Disinger said. That’s why Theresa Juillerat says it’s vital for parents to educate themselves about the dangers of drugs. “I didn’t know what fentanyl was when it took the life of my son,” Juillerat explained. “Our kids make mistakes and they’re supposed to learn from them. They’re not supposed to die from them.”
Her son Christopher died two years ago. “He was the guy that smiled, just had a sense of humor, and just was the life of the conversation,” Juillerat said.
She and Disinger are now both on a mission to lower the number of drug overdose deaths to zero. It’ll be a long road, but having the support of other parents who have similar experiences helps. “Coming to these sort of things really gives a glimpse of hope again,” Disinger said.
She couldn’t emphasize the importance of having these conversations enough. “Continue talking to your kids. Don’t be afraid to talk about fentanyl,” Disinger said.
Juillerat said she was hesitant to talk to her 9-year-old granddaughter about what happened to her Uncle Chris. But because fentanyl is so prominent and affects all sorts of ages, she felt it was important for her to know the truth. Juillerat said putting it in terms they will understand, for example: ‘don’t take medicine that’s not from a parent or doctor,’ helps.