Cobb County

Mother fights to bring awareness after 23-year-old son died of fentanyl overdose

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Fentanyl overdoses are spiking in Cobb and Douglas counties. According to the Cobb and Douglas Public Health Departments, overdoses have increased over the last couple of months.

Channel 2′s Cobb County Bureau Chief Michele Newell spoke with a mother who lost her son to a drug overdose. Now, she is helping others get clean.

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The mother Newell spoke with has been busy passing out a naloxone injection to as many people as she can.

Another device has a voice system that trains you on how to use it. A bracelet from Georgia Overdose Prevention has a message to call 911 if you see someone overdose.


All Kandie Pruitt-Romano has left are memories.

“Jesse was the light of my life. He was my other half,” Pruitt-Romano said. “He was three weeks away from his 23rd birthday.”

Jesse Joseph Pruitt-Black meant so much to so many.

“He was too busy saving everybody else instead of saving himself. He would always take care of everybody else,” Pruitt-Romano said.

Pruitt-Black battled with a heroin addiction for four years, and Romano said her son ultimately died from an overdose.

According to the autopsy report, the drug he took was laced with fentanyl.

“I just remember screaming, ‘Jay, wake up! You can’t leave me! I can’t live without you!’ Addiction is beyond real. It is a mental health problem,” Pruitt-Romano said.

Romano says she did everything to save her son as he was in and out of rehab centers.

“He would go in. He would (detox) for three to seven days, and they would send him home,” Pruitt-Romano said.

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She now passes out Narcan and has given out almost all of them.

Romano is also helping some of Jesse’s friends get clean.

As of right now, I’m 110 days sober. So that’s always a plus. Whenever I first came here, I was, like, 95 pounds. But I’m now 135 pounds within those 110 days. Jesse passing pushed me to do better,” said Lexi Roscoe, Jesse’s friend.

Romano told Newell her home has become a safe haven and that she will continue to help as many people as she can.

In the meantime, the Cobb and Douglas Public Health Department said the spike we are seeing in fentanyl overdoses is associated with street drugs, including cocaine and pressed pills, such as Percocet.