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Placer County launches its '1 Pill Can Kill Placer' campaign

One pill can kill. It's a consistent message Chris and Laura Didier are committed to spreading.

ROCKLIN, Calif. — Placer County held a fentanyl awareness event Friday morning at Whitney High School in Rocklin, unveiling the launch of the one pill can kill placer campaign in partnership with organizations across the county.

"It's like a minefield out there now for kids," said Laura Didier, who lost her son to fentanyl poisoning.

One pill can kill. It's a consistent message Chris and Laura Didier are committed to spreading. Bringing education and awareness to parents, teenagers and young adults about the dangers of fentanyl and fake prescription pills laced with lethal amounts of the drug that are widely sold online and through social media platforms.

"The kids nowadays aren't doing anything different than generations before have done," Didier said. "In terms of trying a pill or half a pill and immediately dying, this is new stuff and i wish we would've known this." 

The Didiers' lost their son Zach in December 2020 after he took a pill he bought from someone on Snapchat. One he thought was Percocet but ended up being a counterfeit made up of fentanyl. He was just 17 years old and accepted into his dream school UCLA just a few months after his death. 

"It felt like we were hit by a Mack truck going 100 miles per hour and we never saw it coming," said Chris Didier.

"It was just heartbreaking because three months after he died, we got all of his acceptance letters and i could just picture the way he would've held those letters and jumped up and down," said Laura Didier.

A bright future tragically cut short, the Didiers have turned their anguish into action. Breaking the stigma surrounding fentanyl overdoses because they say it can happen to anyone.

"He would want us to spread the word and help others," said Chris Didier.

"There are 5,000 milligrams in a teaspoon to put that in perspective. it is that deadly and we have to have those conversations," said Morgan Gire, Placer County district attorney.

Twenty-four Placer County residents lost their lives to fentanyl poisoning in 2020, nearly half of them were under the age of 25.

Rocklin Police Chief Rustin Banks says the department is ramping up patrols and task forces to get the drug off the streets.

"Just in the four months I've been here, we've seized thousands of fentanyl pills," Banks said. "If one pill can kill which we know that it can, I'm confident that those seizes have saved lives, so we will continue to do that." 

The Didier's plan is to remain proactive and make it their mission to spread awareness. They also plan to get involved with new legislation to implement stronger safeguards and hold dealers who sell these pills accountable for their actions.

Watch: Why are there no 'big names' running against Gov. Newsom in the governor's race?

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