Vincent Weiner was just 13. He was in seventh grade. He was a former Cub Scout and in his church youth group.
On the morning of June 4, the teenager was found dead in his bed. He had passed away during the night.
An autopsy has found that the New Jersey boy died from an overdose of fentanyl and heroin. His mother, Jamie Lund, announced the news on Facebook over the weekend, saying she was “feeling broken”.
“They found accidental death by acute intoxication by the combined effects of fentanyl and heroin,” she posted.
“Thirteen-year-old Vincent Weiner OVERDOSED on fentanyl-laced heroin. Anyone, ANYONE who has any information on where he got it, please please please contact me or Chief Leusner or any of the officers of the Middle Township police department. Whoever is supplying these babies with drugs needs to be stopped!
“My heart is broken, shattered into a million pieces.”
Lund told NBC that her son was a “happy, goofy kid”. But in the two weeks before his death, he’d begun behaving unusually at school. He’d also started skipping classes.
“Stories of bullying in school began to surface,” she said.
According to police, Vincent had actively taken the heroin and fentanyl.
“If he had been using, it was unknown by all of us,” Lund said. “There were no signs of anything.”
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid used as a painkiller, is around 100 times more powerful than heroin.
Chief Detective Paul Skill told Shore News Today that Vincent’s death was accidental.
“Fentanyl is far deadlier than heroin,” he said. “And there is such a mixture of drugs for those who abuse heroin. They may think they’re getting heroin, but we’re continually finding bags mixed with fentanyl and other dangerous substances.”
In the US, fentanyl has led to an epidemic of opioid deaths. Currently, an average of 142 people die every day from drug overdoses, and half of those are due to opioids.
More people die from opioids than car crashes.
There are fears that Australia could also experience an epidemic of deaths due to fentanyl, with authorities reporting an increase in people ordering the drug online.