Cooper Davis Act aims to prevent fentanyl deaths

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16-year-old Cooper Davis is remembered as a courageous and outgoing child. He was into a lot of extreme sports.

His mother, Libby Davis of Shawnee, Kansas, said she and her husband Randy would look at her with “one eye wide open.”

“Just because, you know, there was nothing on his mind that was too much or too fast,” she explained in a Friday interview with Fox News Digital. “He loved life.”

His parents, who work in the medical field, knew he was using some marijuana recreationally, but they did their best to reduce that use.

“We were not aware that he had ever used anything that looked like a bullet before,” she said.

His son was visiting a friend’s house with his girlfriend and three other boys last year.

One of the friends bought two Percocet pills from a dealer in Missouri using Snapchat.

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They shared the blue pills – Cooper took half of one – not knowing they were counterfeit and with the synthetic opioid fentanyl.

While Cooper’s friends survived, he did not.

Davis and her husband received a call from the Shawnee police saying their son was having a medical emergency, and went to his place.

“By the time we got there, they were already working with him, basically, for about 40 minutes,” she said.

Davis was taken to the emergency room, but efforts to revive him were unsuccessful. A toxicology report showed that the pill did not contain Percocet.

After their son’s death, the Davis family created “Keepin’ Clean for Cop” bumper stickers and started the Cooper Davis Memorial Foundation, which aimed to spread awareness about the dangers of counterfeit bullets—and save lives.

Cooper Davis, 16, died after ingesting half a shot of fentanyl.
(Credit: Libby Davis / Sen. Roger Marshall)

“So, we knew right away that we had to try to reach as many people as we could to make sure they were aware of this dangerous drug that’s floating around every community in America,” Davis said. Story.

“It only takes a while,” she explained, advising parents to constantly talk to their children about the dangers.

Davis said it’s not easy to talk about what happened to her son.

“It’s not really real until I have to say it out loud. And, I tell people my life is confusing because when I go to do things like this, I think: ‘ It’s great. I’m so excited to be able to do this,'” she said of the interview. “And then, in that same thought, I’m thinking: ‘There’s no place that I want to be in. Other than what I’m about to do, I shouldn’t be today.”

While Cooper’s case is still under investigation, Kansas Republican Senator Roger Marshall on Friday introduced a bipartisan bill that is named after his son.

The Cooper Davis Act assumes that the drug cartels responsible for smuggling fentanyl have set up an online distribution network using social media platforms.

The measure would require social media companies and other communication service providers to take a more active role in working with federal agencies to combat the illegal sale and distribution of drugs on their platforms.

The act was announced during a Friday morning press conference in Overland Park, Kansas.

Marshall and seven other Republican senators last week sent a letter to the CEOs of Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and TikTok, asking them to identify “steps.” [the] Companies are taking to the safety of children and cracking down on the sale of illegal drugs [their] Platform” and “[recognize] role [the] The platforms play into the evolving illicit drug ecosystem.”

Libby Davis and Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall announce the Cooper Davis Act.

Libby Davis and Kansas Sen. Roger Marshall announce the Cooper Davis Act.
(Credit: Libby Davis / Sen. Roger Marshall)

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“It wasn’t an overdose. It was poison,” Marshall told Fox News Digital. “And, that’s my message today. It’s out to all the attorney generals, federal prosecuting officers, county attorneys across the state… This is murder. And, it should be prosecuted.”

The senator, who has practiced medicine in Great Bend for more than 25 years, said social media companies should be proactive in looking for drug emoji and sales.

Davis said the cartel created the drug emoji code.

Social media companies have to alert the authorities when they see these codes.

Marshall said, “Kansas saw the second largest increase in overdose deaths in the entire country last year. Only emphasizing that we are at this crossroads of drug trafficking – that we are like a border state. look.”

Fentanyl, he says, is cheap and readily available to young adults who self-medicate.

“They feel depressed. They can’t concentrate. So, they find this Adderall recipe online,” Marshall continued. “And, Adderall, or Xanax is one of the bigger ones… and they’re laced with fentanyl.”

Cooper Davis' toxicology report showed that the pill did not contain Percocet.

Cooper Davis’ toxicology report showed that the pill did not contain Percocet.
(Credit: Libby Davis / Sen. Roger Marshall)

The senator believes the fentanyl crisis should be declared a public health emergency.

While fentanyl overdose deaths are high, they are not the leading cause of death among all American adults. The CDC also says it has yet to verify that fentanyl is the top killer among Americans ages 18-45.

However, the CDC said in a July address to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions committee that provisional data showed that more than 107,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in the 12 months ending January, of which 66.5% were people. Deaths mainly from synthetic opioids and illicitly manufactured fentanyl.

The same data from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics showed that deaths from synthetic opioids increased from 57,800 in 2020 to 71,238 in 2021.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Valensky has said that she had a conversation with Health and Human Services Sec. Javier Becerra set about declaring the crisis a public health emergency, but did not say whether he had recommended it to Becerra.

Fox News’ request for comment from the CDC was not immediately returned.

Davis, Marshall and the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) are warning about iridescent fentanyl ahead of the Halloween holiday and spotlighting a DEA program called Operation Engage.

Operation Engage was created to address the nationwide drug epidemic and connect field offices with their communities.

“The Cooper Davis Act is trying to save lives, but we know the real root of the problem is a porous southern border,” Marshall said, adding that he first saw how border agents were so busy trying to keep up with illegal immigrants. were busy. that they could not keep up with the cartel.

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Marshall and five Kansas sheriffs traveled to the southern border in May for visits and meetings with federal and Texas state officials.

In an August Justice Department release, US Attorney Randy Grossman called the amount of fentanyl being confiscated at the border “shocking.”

“Again, Kansas went from one death a day to four deaths this year. This is truly the number one health problem for young adults in the state of Kansas,” he concluded.

The Kansas Prescription Drug and Opioid Advisory Committee reported in November 2021 that deaths from synthetic opioid overdoses, mostly caused by fentanyl, increased 130% from 2019 to 2020.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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