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  1. Basoodler
    BARRIE - A call to police from a grieving mom has led to the arrest of an alleged drug dealer.
    A week ago, 19-year-old Tina Espey was pronounced dead after what her mom Sherri Dolk believes was an overdose from a legal prescription drug she had bought off the street.

    Dolk told The Advance her daughter had been battling with drug addiction and had bought fentanyl – a drug more powerful than morphine that is usually given to patients experiencing chronic pain. One fentanyl patch typically has enough medicine inside to last a patient 72 hours.

    When consumed illegally, drug abusers typically cut up the patch and eat it, or smoke the gel inside the patch. It gives drug abusers an opioid or hypnotic high. When the patch is converted from medical to recreational drug use, it is difficult for a user to control the dose.

    In Espey's case, her dose was fatal. A funeral for the St. Joseph’s Catholic High School grad was held Friday.

    While preparing for the visitation Thursday, her mother called police to report suspicious calls that had been made to her deceased daughter’s cellphone.

    Police followed up on the information and, on Thursday, charged a 26-year-old Barrie man with drug trafficking.

    Barrie police Const. Angela Butler said a small amount of fentanyl patches and marijuana were found during the arrest. The suspect was charged with trafficking fentanyl, possession of fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking and two counts of possession of a controlled substance. A 26-year-old Collingwood woman found with him was charged with cocaine possession.

    Both were released on bail.

    The toxicology results aren’t back to confirm the official cause of Espey's death, but Butler said the cellphone tip was enough to narrow the investigation.

    “The mom was instrumental in all of this," said Butler. “This was a great arrest for our drug officers. The accused are only charged at this point and still have to go through the court process, but how many times does this happen?”



  1. Basoodler
    Parents share pain of drug death

    BARRIE - Tina Espey died early Sunday morning of a fatal reaction to narcotic pain killer fentanyl.
    As a warning to other parents about drug addiction, Espey’s mother Sherri Dolk and step-father Kevin Dolk spoke candidly about their daughter’s struggle.

    They said she was trying to break free of her addiction. On the weekend, however, she took a fatal dose of fentanyl – an opiate drug with effects similar to morphine – often delivered through a time-release patch. A number of drug overdoses in recent years have been tied to fentanyl, including the death of a Wilco band member after he was perscribed the medication. A Slipknot band member also died of a fentanyl overdose, though there was no evidence of a perscription.

    According to Health Canada, fentanyl is only intended for patients suffering chronic pain needing constant relief through narcotics.

    Sherri Dolk said her daughter wasn’t perfect, but is sharing the pain of her tragedy as a lesson.
    “The reason we are speaking out is because it seems like not enough people do and we don’t want other families to have to go through this kind of devastating loss,” she said. “There seems to be a stigma about drug addiction and if people can realize it’s okay to talk about it and to reach out for help maybe we can save some lives.”

    She said there are people who know friends may be struggling with addiction, yet believe that nothing bad will happen.
    “But it does, it’s real,” she said, “so if our story inspires just one person to seek help or to talk to a loved one at-risk it will make it all worthwhile.”

    She encourages parents to talk openly with their teens about drug and alcohol abuse, and “teens should not be afraid to go to an adult if their friends are doing drugs.”

    There may be anger and resentment, but lives may be saved too, she said.
    A funeral is being held Friday to remember 19-year-old Espey.

    Reflecting on happier times, Dolk said her daughter “was loved by so many people, she was a very social girl who loved to have a good time.”

    “We had good times and bad,” she said, “but in the end, she knew we loved her very much.”
    Espey had struggled to finish high school but finally accomplished that just last week. “We were so proud of her,” said Dolk.

    Espey had spoken about studying nursing at a post-secondary institution, but wanted to take a year off to save money for college.

    Her mother remembers her as a “beautiful girl with a great sense of humour.”

    “When something was important to her she gave it her all,” Dolk said.

    Espey is remembered by father Dwayne and wife Natalie Espey, and siblings Brady and Noah Espey and Alex Dolk.

    “Tina was a beautiful, strong and caring little girl that was always looking out for her younger brother Brady,” said her dad Dwayne Espey. “Then she was blessed with a sister, Alex, whom she adored. A few years later she was blessed again with another sibling, Noah. She was honoured to be the oldest of this clan and took this role with the utmost pride and love.”

    He said she was passionate about her life and the adventures she was going to experience in her future.
    “She was a determined, headstrong teenager who was adored by everyone who met her,” he said.
    Donations can be made to the Mental Health and Addiction Services of Simcoe County.

    A visitation is taking place today from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Adams Funeral Home on St. Vincent Street.

    A funeral is set for Friday at 3 p.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church at 65 Amelia St.

  2. Basoodler
    A Fentanyl victim- Please read and share.

    On December the 2nd 2012, One of our friends 19 year old daughter was found dead after taking a lethal dose of Fentanyl. I personally had never heard of this drug. It is a prescription drug prescribed to those whom have terminal illnesses to relieve their pain, it is similar to morphine but much more potent.

    I am not afraid to admit that I used to do drugs and I have been clean for 6 years. I know how easy it can be to become addicted...

    Fentanyl has become a recreational drug, sold on the streets. It is a patch. A very easy addiction to hide. There is no smell, residue, just a patch and the packaging that can easily be destroyed.

    Tina Espey, had been battling an addiction to Fentanyl and had overcome her addiction but on December 2nd relapsed and took a fatal dose that ended her life. Her parents have decided to speak out about this drug and make people aware of how deadly it is. They have opened their home to anyone that needs to talk.

    We need to spread awareness about drug use. To take addiction as an illness and not just a careless action. No one is perfect, we are all different and there is such a shame directed towards drug users. It is an illness just like diabetes, MS, epilepsy. If you don't want to be judged, don't judge others.

    Instead, if you suspect someone might be using drugs or abusing prescription drugs, do something about it! You may save their life. They need help, I can guarantee you they are ashamed, are not happy with who they are but they don't know what to do. It is a spiral downward that is almost impossible to do alone. Don't turn your back on someone because you suspect they might have an addiction. Would you want someone to turn their back on you if you were ill or had a problem?

    Please spread the word....Stop....think....educate yourself....understand.....help.

    Her drug dealer tried to contact her not knowing that she had died. Because the word is being spread, they were arrested and those drugs were taken off the streets. I know it isn't a permanent solution but if we spread the word and help a difference can be made. It starts with one person!

    (a tribute blog that I found the photo in the OP in)
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