Rural overdose victim

Opioid Crisis

Overdose deaths are not slowing down in our communities.
Across the country, 192 people die every day from a drug overdose.

In Minnehaha County alone, 60 people have overdosed in the first six months of this year.

Fortunately a majority of them lived, many in part, due to the life-saving drug Narcan.

However, 15 people have died so far this year. Add that to the number of overdose deaths from 2018 and nearly 40 people have died in the last 18 months in South Dakota’s most populated county.

But overdose deaths don’t just happen in metro areas, they occur in rural communities too.

Alex Woodraska’s family described the 21-yea-old as a big teddy bear. Alex loved to fish, hunt and ride four-wheelers in the Black Hills.

He grew up in Chamberlain and had a lot of friends.

Alex died of a drug overdose on March 25 after returning home from a weekend trip with his family to Texas.

“I opened up the door and there he was facedown on the bedroom floor between his bed and his dresser,” Forester said.

His mother, Jenny Forester, says for a long time she was in denial that Alex was using drugs.

“People think their kids can’t do that. No matter how much money you have; how much sports they’re into; it happens,” Forester said.

Now, Forester wants Alex to be remembered for the person he was, not how he died.

On Eye on KELOLAND Wednesday night, see the rest of Alex’s story and how a “Mother’s Love Drives On,” at 10.

An Overdose Awareness Candlelight Vigil will be held Sioux Falls on the steps of City Hall Friday evening to remember those who have died in this epidemic.

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