Rachel had life in the palm of her hand. She was a high school junior with tons of friends; a varsity and travel volleyball star; a hard worker with a part-time job; and, just an amazing individual who was known for her caring heart.
A friend was struggling with an illegal drug addiction and Rachel reached out to try and help him. In her efforts to get him help, they became closer friends…and then something went awry. She tried heroin (which we now know he was pushing).
The first time Rachel experienced heroin changed her forever. She craved the drug and could not get beyond the desire.
Her parents, Cindy and Russ, tried to get her professional help. Unfamiliar with the depth of her struggle, it became a challenge to understand what type of assistance was needed. Due to her being a minor and the overwhelming demand for drug addiction services, help came too late.
A month prior to the fatal accident, Rachel had overdosed and was saved in the children's hospital emergency room. She was then sent home and her parents received a four-page document outlining possible rehabilitation and counseling resources.
Phone number after phone number was called–but no one was able to help. Finally, a solution was identified…but it came too late.
The day before the agency returned Cindy's call, Rachel was connected to a dealer through social media. She was trying to get cocaine, but the product she received was unknowingly laced with carfentanil–a deadly synthetic drug used to “amp-up” its effectiveness for a more intense high.
Cindy noticed Rachel's bedroom light was on much later than it should have been for a school night. When Cindy entered, she rushed to hold Rachel. Rachel took one last breath in Cindy's arms. Paramedics were called immediately but all attempts to revive Rachel were unsuccessful.
Rachel's story is not over. She lives through the Rachel's Angels organization. And, her legacy will continue on by helping to prevent drug-related deaths among youth in our community.