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Chattanooga Mom Urges Drug Conversations After Daughter’s Fatal Fentanyl Overdose

Mother-daughter drug conversation.

Chattanooga Mom Encourages Drug Conversations Following Daughter’s Fatal Fentanyl Overdose


A Chattanooga mother grieving the heartbreaking loss from a fentanyl overdose calls upon other parents to wage war against this grim reality by engaging in open dialogue about the danger of drugs. This mother’s plea comes amid alarming statistics that reveal Tennessee as the second-highest state in the country for overdose deaths.

The Rising Opioid Crisis

The opioid crisis continues to claim lives at an alarming rate, hitting closely to home for many Tennesseans. In 2021 alone, over 3,000 individuals in Tennessee lost their lives to drug overdoses, marking a grim record for the state and shedding light on the severity of this national health crisis.

A Mother’s Painful Tale

Leah Gallant recalls her beautiful daughter, Charlotte Gallant, a 19-year-old who fell victim to a fentanyl overdose. On record, 25-year-old Jonathan Bash confessed to distributing parafluorofentanyl, a fentanyl analogue, leading to Charlotte’s untimely demise. He falsely represented the drug as ketamine, a popular “club drug” sought after for its supposed anesthetic and hallucinogenic effects. The painful incident occurred in November 2022 when Charlotte’s boyfriend bought the drug from a dealer he found on Telegram Messenger.

Impact of Fentanyl

The misuse of fentanyl, a drug initially created to be a pain medication, is increasing rapidly. Debbie Loudermilk, the director of outpatient services, warns that when bought from the streets, fentanyl has no regulation. Its original purpose was to manage pain, but when abused, it can drastically slow body functions, often leading to fatal overdoses as users stop breathing.

Greater Conversation on Drugs Needed

In the wake of her daughter’s death, Leah strongly encourages parents to talk about drugs specifically fentanyl, with their children. She believes her daughter would have never knowingly ingested fentanyl and laments that Charlotte’s decision to try ketamine that fateful night remains a mystery. Leah stresses that drugs should only come from medical professionals, and warns against the extreme dangers of obtaining substances from strangers.

Her call to action serves as a crucial reminder of the importance of ensuring children, particularly young adults, are well-informed about the potential perils of drug misuse, especially of potent synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

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