Friday, 20 September 2019 17:09

Richmond County students learn how 'one decision' can change their lives

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 Debbie Dalton passes out bright green wristbands to students as a reminder to make good decisions and cherish life. Debbie Dalton passes out bright green wristbands to students as a reminder to make good decisions and cherish life. Richmond County Schools

HAMLET — For the past two days, inside the gyms and auditoriums in several middle and high schools in the district, students sat quietly as they listened intently to a story shared by Debbie Dalton. 


Dalton, speaker, advocate and founder of the Hunter Dalton HDLife Foundation, shared the story of how she lost her 23-year-old son Hunter Dalton on Dec. 4, 2016 due to an overdose on cocaine laced with fentanyl. 

“If you don’t take anything here from what I said today, at least take this,” she told students at Ellerbe Middle School Friday. “I’m a brokenhearted mom here telling you that what you can’t see will kill you.” 

Pharmaceutical fentanyl is a synthetic opioid pain reliever, approved for treating severe pain, typically advanced cancer pain. It’s also 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

However, recent cases of fentanyl-related harm, overdoses and death in the U.S. are linked to illegally made fentanyl, according to the CDC. It’s often mixed with heroin and/or cocaine, often times unknown to the user, to increase its euphoric effects. 

During Dalton’s presentation, she held her hand and acted as though she was shaking a salt shaker once to demonstrate how a little amount of salt would come out from the one shake. 

But that one shake from the salt shaker was the same amount of fentanyl that caused her son to have a heart attack and later die. 

“My son wouldn’t want his death to be in vain,” she said. “If I can just help one person, it will all be worth it.” 

Dalton challenged students to keep her son’s story in mind and passed out bright green wristbands as a reminder to make the right choices and cherish life. 

For more information on the Hunter Dalton HDLife Foundation, visit their website at www.thehdlife.org.