A New Jersey mom is spreading awareness about the opioid crisis after being "utterly shocked" when she lost her 19-year-old son to a fentanyl-laced drug.
"I didn't know a lot about it before I lost him," Tanya Niederman told "America Reports" on Wednesday. "We were naive. I don't think that it was talked about, and you know, I've said it before, when they told us that it was fentanyl that took his life... I was utterly shocked. I mean, it brought me to my knees. I had no idea that he had ever tried drugs before."
Now, Niederman honors her son’s life by spreading awareness to other parents on how fentanyl is the number one cause of death for Americans ages 18 to 45.
"There's no prevention. There's no awareness around it," she said. ".... Grieving parents, local officials are the ones forced to spread awareness and... for me, it's telling my son's story. I mean, he was like every other kid you know...and he died at 19-years-old."
Niederman urged parents to understand the weight of the crisis when remembering her son.
"I want people to look at his face and know he could have been your child," she pleaded. "He was mine, but he could be any kid, and it's just not talked about enough...If I can get my circle and my small piece of the world and make an impact and have his life make a difference, then that's all I can ask for... It's scary and it's happening all around us, and it doesn't seem to be stopping, so we have to do something about it since it's not coming from above."