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After fentanyl killed her soulmate, improving drug consumer fig…

When Paul Francs Duffy II were given a choice that someone else used to be dropped at the emergency room after an overdose, he would placed on his swimsuit and head to the health center. Duffy, as a peer beef up specialist, would provide beef up to survivors — and inspire them to hunt remedy, identical to he had.

However for a time, at the same time as he labored to help other addicts, Duffy used to be quietly suffering together with his personal sobriety. 

“That is the madness of habit, proper?” Gwen Dudley, Duffy’s spouse, informed Fox News. “Duffy knew from his process how unhealthy this used to be, however he concept he had it underneath keep an eye on.”

The remaining time Dudley noticed Duffy alive, they had been arguing about him going to get remedy.

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Paul Duffy II used to be a loving, faithful spouse and father, Gwen Dudley says.
(Courtesy of Gwen Dudley )

“He concept he would possibly lose his process,” she mentioned. “He used to be frightened to achieve out and admit that he were the usage of and get assist.”

“The stigma, even for other folks in restoration, it’s robust,” Dudley, herself a improving addict, mentioned. 

Duffy, 32, died Might 2, 2021.

“He gave up the ghost because of a fentanyl poisoning, which is what I discuss with it as, as a result of it’s,” Dudley informed Fox News.

‘He stored other folks’s lives’

Since Duffy’s loss of life, Dudley has fought to finish the disgrace related to habit in hopes that fewer other folks will silently endure till it is too overdue to hunt assist. She’s satisfied stigma averted her “soulmate” from in search of assist.

“Dependancy does not discriminate. It does not have a face,” Dudley mentioned. “It’s everyone.”

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Duffy, who went through his remaining identify, used to be born and raised in Annapolis, Maryland the place Dudley and her son nonetheless are living. Like such a lot of others, Duffy were given addicted to opioids via a sound prescription — he’d to begin with been given OxyContin in highschool for a again damage, Dudley informed Fox News.

But if prescription opioids turned into unaffordable, Duffy grew to become to a less expensive and extra out there choice: heroin. Later, his drug of selection turned into cocaine and different amphetamine-like ingredients, although he would still use opioids to come back down from the stimulants. 

Duffy was first introduced to opioids in high school when he was prescribed OxyContin for a back injury. 

Duffy used to be first presented to opioids in highschool when he used to be prescribed OxyContin for a again damage. 
(Courtesy of Gwen Dudley )

Dudley met Duffy in restoration nearly 5 years in the past. He’d been blank for approximately a 12 months, however had intermittent relapses, together with his longest duration of sobriety stretching 4 years.

“Duffy used to be charismatic, he used to be humorous,” Dudley mentioned. “He used to be giving and loving and vivacious and had a lust for existence that the general public do not.”

The 2 briefly constructed a existence in combination and had their son, Luca, who’s now 3 years previous. Whilst in restoration, Duffy used to be excited about bodily well being and used to be hooked in to serving to others.

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Ultimately, Duffy were given a task as a peer beef up specialist for the Anne Arundel County Well being Division in Maryland, a place created in a part of the county’s effort to combat the fentanyl disaster. 

“He stored other folks’s lives,” Dudley mentioned. “I used to be so pleased with him.” 

“He used to be so amazed in an effort to do this as a task with the whole thing he’d been via,” she added. “Became his ache into goal.”

‘Dependancy does not discriminate’

Early in 2021, Duffy’s psychological well being started to show. The couple’s disturbing paintings schedules turned into even busier with a child — and Dudley’s father died of pancreatic most cancers.

Duffy died after he unknowingly took drugs laced with fentanyl.

Duffy died after he unknowingly took medication laced with fentanyl.
(Courtesy of Gwen Dudley)

“I used to be surely conscious that Duffy used to be suffering,” she mentioned. “He used to be very depressed.”

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Duffy sought out a therapist who he in the end didn’t connect to. As a substitute, he grew to become to alcohol, considering it used to be a substance he had keep an eye on over. Quickly, Duffy used to be abusing medication once more after just about 3 blank years.

Dependancy is “by no means what you suppose it looks as if,” Dudley mentioned. “It stems from trauma, it stems from psychological well being problems, it stems from ache.”

“He attempted to prevent, however he couldn’t,” she informed Fox News. “He used to be necessarily the usage of in opposition to his will.”

After two months, Duffy promised he would get assist after only one extra ranking.

However he by no means got here house.

Duffy unknowingly purchased medication laced with fentanyl, an artificial opioid 50-100 instances more potent than morphine, consistent with the Nationwide Institute of Drug Abuse.

Dudley said Duffy knew about the dangers of fentanyl from his job but was "essentially using against his will."

Dudley mentioned Duffy knew concerning the risks of fentanyl from his process however used to be “necessarily the usage of in opposition to his will.”
(Courtesy of Gwen Dudley)

“Fentanyl is terrifying,” Dudley mentioned. “It helps to keep me up at evening. It makes my abdomen flip.”

Dudley used to be headed out with Duffy’s mom to search for her spouse when she won a choice from the health center. Duffy were discovered hours after overdosing and used to be nonetheless subconscious since no one with him had Narcan.  

Duffy used to be on existence beef up for 3 days ahead of medical doctors declared him brain-dead because of a loss of oxygen. He used to be taken off existence beef up two days later.  

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She mirrored on Duffy’s reluctance to hunt assist. He used to be afraid he’d be judged for his habit — one thing Dudley considers a illness.

“To regard this as some form of ethical failing to me is mind-boggling,” she mentioned. “It is truly a clinical factor.”

“All of us want to know what fentanyl is, what it is in, and teach the folks round us as a result of it is a public well being disaster,” Dudley added.

Drug overdose deaths surpassed 100,000 for the primary time in U.S. historical past in 2021, according to the CDC. Over 64,000 of the ones deaths had been because of artificial opioids like fentanyl

“That is coming in over the borders,” Dudley mentioned. “The border insurance policies are failing.”

“And I do not wish to make it political, however it is only a truth,” she added.

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Dudley has dedicated her time to dismantling stigma surrounding addiction so others struggling might seek help sooner.  

Dudley has devoted her time to dismantling stigma surrounding habit so others suffering would possibly search assist quicker.  
(Courtesy of Gwen Dudley )

‘Heroic in his personal means’

Dudley, aiming to finish the stigma and make other folks extra at ease about in search of remedy, now works remotely as a countrywide outreach coordinator for Ascend Restoration Heart in West Palm Seashore. She makes use of TikTok as a platform to lift consciousness concerning the dangers of fentanyl

As her son will get older, “I’ll let him know that his dad used to be unwell,” Dudley mentioned. “That he used to be heroic in his personal means and stored lives, however that he struggled with this sickness and give an explanation for fentanyl to him.”

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Although she nonetheless grieves, Duffy’s loss of life has introduced Dudley a brand new sense of goal. 

“I’d thank him for believing in my power ahead of I did,” she informed Fox News. “And appearing me how one can assist other folks from the center and no longer care what other folks suppose on account of the larger excellent.”

“It is what lets in me now to carry that means to his loss of life and take that spirit with me and assist other folks,” Dudley mentioned.


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