Fentanyl overdose survivor tells her story: ‘I become a fortunate one. I gotta make it really well worth it’

Last September, one dad located his then 16-yr-vintage daughter slightly breathing.

Last September, Ryan Christoff located his then 16-yr-vintage daughter slightly inhaling their domestic close to Boulder, Colorado.

Little did he recognize on the time, however his daughter become stricken by an overdose. She had taken a 1/2 of of a Percocet tablet given to her with the aid of using her then boyfriend now no longer understanding that it become laced with Fentanyl – a artificial opioid used to deal with excessive ache and is as much as 50 instances extra effective than heroin.

“I’m bored in my room,” stated Sofia Christoff, who stated she had located some “powder” substance. “I beaten it up, took a line. Felt form of sparkly for 2 seconds after which I awakened withinside the hospital.”

Ryan Christoff stated he had recognised that his daughter “smoked a touch weed” occasionally, however had no concept that the sophomore had surely been secretly experimenting with a protracted listing of tablets.

“Cocaine, Xanax, Ketamine once. Acid, Shrooms, Adderall,” stated Sofia Christoff. “So simply drugs. Just like the whole lot I may want to get my fingers on.”

During that yr, she become suspended from faculty and her grades fell.

“I felt silly that I have to have recognised,” stated Ryan Christoff. “I simply failed to assume she become doing that.”

Sergeant David Cohen of the Lafayette Colorado Police Department become withinside the region while the frantic 9-1-1 name got here in from Sofia Christoff’s father.

Cohen arrived at the scene in mins because the 9-1-1 dispatcher and began out chest compressions. He fast administered Narcan to an subconscious and slightly breating Sofia Christofff. Within seconds, she started out gasping for air, consistent with Cohen. She become taken to the hospital, however become launched simplest hours later.

Cohen stated he used his schooling and revel in to understand the situation.

“I mean, I do not know if it ever have become clean to me till I administered Narcan, and it worked,” stated Cohen, who stated he additionally noticed “miscellaneous drug paraphernalia” withinside the bedroom.

On that day, Sofia Christoff survived. Others who’ve skilled Fentanyl-related drug overdoses have now no longer been as fortunate.

“I get each day reviews of suspected people who’ve exceeded away because of Fentanyl overdoses,” stated Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen.

Pazen stated bringing recognition to the difficulty is key.

“Folks assume that this is probably some thing else that they are ingesting. So bringing recognition to this trouble that that tablet might not be Percocet. That tablet might not be Xanax. That that tablet might also additionally comprise Fentanyl and doubtlessly will be lethal is critical.”

Deaths related to artificial opioids like Fentanyl have almost doubled over the last years, consistent with records launched with the aid of using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Additional CDC records discovered that of the extra than 100,000 those who died from drug overdoses in a 12 month duration finishing in October 2021, almost -thirds of these deaths are related to artificial opioids like Fentanyl.

Fentanyl is reasonably-priced to provide and extraordinarily potent, so it’s miles once in a while blended into different illicit tablets heroin, meth and cocaine and different ache drugs like Percocet, Xanax, Vicodin and Oxycontin and might create a deadly combination, consistent with Pazen.

“It’s so reasonably-priced, it is so smooth to move, it is so addictive for the quit user,” Pazen stated. “We are going to want everyone coming collectively as a u . s . a ., as a state, federal, state, nearby regulation enforcement.”

In March, Colorado’s House of Representatives delivered a invoice to enact stiffer crook consequences on the ones concerned with the sale and distribution of Fentanyl.

For Sofia Christoff, she stated that shopping for tablets is as smooth as sending the proper emoji to a “plug,” a drug supplier who regularly unearths clients on apps like Snapchat.

“I’m seeking out a touch plug emoji or like a hearthplace emoji or you are simply something emoji the regular sellers have,” stated Christoff.

“If you already know in which to go, it is absolutely smooth,” she added.

The use of emojis to connect to drug sellers isn’t always particular to Colorado, however now so not unusualplace throughout the u . s . a . that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency launched a cheat sheet for mother and father and guardians to elevate recognition of the emojis normally used to shop for tablets on social media.

“I can not emphasize sufficient how lethal this drug is to human life, mainly to unsuspecting teenagers in our community,” stated Tatum King, a Homeland Security investigator. “These drugs are extensively to be had and regularly bought for greenbacks apiece on social media.”

On April 1, Snapchat issued a declaration that targeted their efforts to flush out drug-associated content material and introduced steps to scale down unlawful activity, pronouncing they have “0 tolerance” for the merchandising of unlawful tablets on its platform.

Sofia Christoff stated she includes the load of her close to-dying revel in everyday.

“’I’m the only that got here lower back like, why me? So I’m simply looking to have the mind-set that I’m here, and I become a fortunate one, and I gotta make it really well worth it,” stated Christoff.

Sofia Christoff is now taking part in her junior yr of excessive faculty and stated she’s searching ahead to being lower back on the sphere together along with her softball crew subsequent season. Her father is now on a venture to teach different teenagers and mother and father at the risks of drug use and includes Narcan anyplace he goes.

“I could need humans to look that it may show up to even a person like Sofia, to even their daughter, to even their son,” he stated. “Even [to] humans you observed you already know it’s miles the least possibly to show up to, it may show up.”

Last month, Ryan Christoff and his now 17-yr-vintage daughter visited the Lafayette Police Department to fulfill Sergeant David Cohen again, six months after his short moves stored a life. After each giving him massive hugs of gratitude, Ryan Christoff gave the officer a framed photo of his daughter pronouncing, “that’s her celebrating her birthday which she become simplest capable of revel in due to you.”