MADISON, Conn. (WTNH) – A mom in her darkest moments. Lisa Deane’s 23-year-old son, Joe, is an athlete, a brother, a lover, and the light of their lives with a dark addiction.
“When he couldn’t get his hands on OxyContin, he turned to heroin,” Deane said.
Joe’s drug addiction spiraled. He overdosed on Fentanyl in December 2018. The same powerful drug that’s still cutting lives short today.
“Last year, 1,378 families got that call. Country-wide over 100,000 got that call,” Deane said.
As Deane said goodbye to her son, something changed in her.
“During that time, I learned that four other men had overdosed on fentanyl,” Deane said. “One was right down the hall from Joe. That infuriated me and I asked for a meeting with then-Chief Anthony Campbell.”
Deane became a mom on a mission. Over the last three years, she has become a voice for change through her organization, Demand Zero, donating drug detection dogs to police departments, producing a raw film for schools to show for free, and making a paraphernalia guide for parents to recognize materials she found in her own home.
“One of them was a rubber band, a little rubber band,” Deane said. “I thought, ‘why and I finding these rubber bands?’ One was a cigarette filter with a portion taken out.”
Mothers from all over have come together to support her, adding the signatures of their loved ones on the wings of a Phoenix to show these powerful drugs don’t discriminate. Their children lost, fueling their strength to do more.
“I really think Joe is on my shoulder helping me because I don’t know how I have been able to speak in front of people or do what we’ve done,” Deane said.
She remains strong and resilient, focused on saving lives and that makes her remarkable.