VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A Deltona mother is on a mission to deliver a life-saving treatment after she lost her son to drugs last year.
Stephanie Smith said her 24-year-old son, Tyler Lynch battled with drugs for years but worked hard to keep sober and he was for the last two years. However, he died from a drug overdose on March 31, 2019.
“He was a tattoo artist; he was a chef. He loved life. I never thought in a million years that I’d be going through this. My son was doing good,” Stephanie Smith said.
Smith said since her son’s death, she turned her pain into power and is working with mothers through her Facebook group called “Overdosed a Family Broken.” Smith is working to distribute free Narcan to families who need it.
“I don’t want any other mom going through what I go through on a regular basis which is waking up knowing your son’s not going to call you,” she said.
She received her first donated shipment of Narcan on Wednesday. Narcan is a nasal spray that rapidly reverses an opioid overdose.
“Had he had that Narcan, he’d probably be still alive today,” said Smith.
While Smith is licensed to train and administer the spray, it is not required according to Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood.
“You can just buy it over the counter. There’s no prescription needed, there’s no training needed. It’s nose spray,” he said.
Sheriff Chitwood said Volusia County is still in the thick of an opioid crisis and showed News 6 body camera video of deputies responding to drug overdoses. He said after a county-wide push in 2017, every deputy is now equipped with Narcan.
“Last year at this time we had 116 overdose deaths, okay. This year, we’re at 259 so that number is exponentially growing. I would encourage anybody, if you have an addiction in your life, make sure Narcan is present because you would absolutely save somebody’s life,” said Sheriff Chitwood.
Smith wholeheartedly agrees.
“I want to save a life. I want to save children’s life. I want a mom to wake up in the morning and say, thank God my child is alive today because of the Narcan,” she said.