Death is often described as the great equalizer, coming for all regardless of status, wealth, power or privilege.
But lately, the same can be said of the drug fentanyl.
The ravages of this lethal drug are affecting families across America, from the poorest and most wretched, to the richest and most privileged.
On Jan. 19, Rick Harrison, the star of History Channel’s “Pawn Stars,” lost his son to the deadly fentanyl epidemic.
According to police reports, Adam Harrison was found dead in a Las Vegas guest house. The 39-year-old man had not been seen for two days before another resident raised concerns over his absence. Upon entering Harrison’s room, the landlord discovered him unresponsive and called the authorities, Fox News reported.
According to Fox, police found “two vials of a redacted substance next to the mattress” and a “foil with an unknown pill, lighters and narcotic paraphernalia straws.”
This was followed by a call to the grieving father by both the Trump sons, Don Jr. and Eric, according to TMZ.
During an interview on Fox News aired on Thursday, Harrison said that he had also met with Trump after Adam’s death and praised Trump’s desire to address the fentanyl crisis.
“He’s an incredible individual. He wants to do something about this,” Harrison said.
Harrison acknowledged his son’s long battle with addiction and said he suspected drugs caused 39-year-old Adam’s death, given his downward spiral over the last six months.
“I’ve been dealing with this with him since he was, like, 20 years old,” Harrison told Fox News. “It was a tough week. I mean, if I wasn’t screaming at a wall, I was, like, crying my eyes out.”
Rick remembered Adam as “my boy” and “the greatest kid.” But he knew Adam struggled despite Rick’s efforts to provide rehabilitation treatment over the years.
“Best way to put it with opioids and fentanyl — the devil invented a drug,” he said. ” I mean, it literally just changes them into a different person. You don’t even know,” he said, Fox News reported.
Harrison asserted politicians are “complicit” in drug deaths by failing to secure the southern border against drug smugglers. He called the number of overdose deaths “the equivalent of a 737 [airplane] loaded with passengers crashing every single day.”
He also went off on the Biden administration for trying to stop Texas from protecting its own borders.
“We don’t know what they’re carrying on them. And we don’t know what kind of people they are. It’s insanity. I mean, we just need common sense,” he said.
‘ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING’: “Pawn Stars” personality Rick Harrison is speaking out about his son’s death from a fentanyl overdose and blames Democratic policies and politicians for “letting” the crisis happen. https://t.co/PpCrMJtULU pic.twitter.com/A4AwJPBuBE
— Fox News (@FoxNews) February 8, 2024
Harrison said that any drug dealer selling fentanyl should “at least get manslaughter charges.”
Harrison said politicians should focus on arresting people selling these drugs and the people bringing them over the border. He argued that shutting down the border would also make these drugs far more expensive and, as a result, make these kinds of deaths rare.
“It’s insane because they’re letting it happen. They’re literally letting it happen. They’re not doing anything about it. So they’re complicit in all these deaths,” Harrison said.
“And I find it absolutely disgusting that you have politicians doing nothing,” he added, pointing to Oregon, which has decriminalized the possession of several illicit drugs.
“Like in Oregon, you can have fentanyl on you,” he said. “It’s like a $20 ticket.”
Oregon made history in 2020 when voters passed a ballot measure to decriminalize personal possession amounts of drugs like heroin, cocaine, and methamphetamines. Instead of jailing people for having small quantities, the state now issues fines.
However, the state now shows “the biggest increase in synthetic opioid deaths among states that have reported their numbers,” surging from 84 deaths to more than 1100 between 2019 and mid-2023, according to The Associated Press.
Rick Harrison experienced the tragedy countless families dread — losing a child to the fentanyl crisis.
Despite parents’ efforts to protect their sons and daughters, America’s unsecured borders and lax drug policies expose our youth to lethal narcotics flowing into our communities.
Rather than empathy for offenders, the priority must be safeguarding potential victims of the opioid epidemic’s soaring death toll.
How many late-night calls informing parents their child has overdosed do leaders need before they realize that this issue is not political but human?
It starts, as Harrison so gut-wrenchingly tried to communicate, with securing the border against smugglers profiting off American destruction.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.