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This mother and daughter struggled with addiction. Now they’re trying to stop fentanyl death

EDITOR'S NOTE: This conversation may not be appropriate for all listeners.

It’s been less than a year since the Arizona Legislature passed a bill close to Democratic lawmaker Christine Marsh’s heart. It is now legal to use testing products to detect the deadly drug fentanyl, which is often cut into street drugs like cocaine. Sen. Marsh’s son, Landon, died in 2020 of a fentanyl overdose.

Now, drug users can make sure they’re not unknowingly ingesting a deadly substance. And Kim and Natalie Nelson know just how life-saving this kind of law can be. 

The Nelsons are mother and daughter. They have both experienced addiction, and they are both now in recovery. They also both now volunteer with Sonoran Prevention Works and give out risk reduction materials like fentanyl test strips and the drug Narcan, which can reverse an overdose, to those who are still in the throes of addiction. And they say they’ve seen the strips save lives.

The Show spoke with them both to learn about their experiences and their own stories.

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Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.