EXCLUSIVE Former Marine, 26, dies from accidental overdose in Nevada - leaving ... trends now
A Nevada widow whose husband died from an accidental fentanyl overdose is shedding light on the harrowing impact of the drug.
Jacob Wade, 26, a former Marine, had been a devoted family man to his wife, Britain Tomlin, and children, Walker and Blakely, when he accidentally overdosed on a drug cocktail laced with fentanyl in February.
It's unclear what other drugs Mr Wade was taking, but accidental overdoses involving fentanyl have become an increasingly common tale in the US. Many victims don't even know they're taking it.
Ms Tomlin is now warning against the dangers of the drug, which kills one American every eight minutes.
'Fentanyl robbed us of a wonderful man – a devoted husband, a loving son, and a caring father,' she said.
Jacob Wade, 26, a former Marine, had been a devoted family man to his wife, Britain Tomlin, and children, Walker and Blakely, when he accidentally overdosed on a drug cocktail laced with fentanyl in February
Mr Wade was an aspiring entrepreneur who spent his free time fishing, hiking, and riding his dirt bike. He also regularly volunteered in his community, such as building homes for families in need
'I'm determined to raise awareness about the devastating fentanyl and opioid crisis, urging the government to step up its efforts in aiding those grappling with addiction.'
'We need more resources to support individuals battling substance abuse and to assist their families.'
Ms Tomlin and Mr Wade met in 2018 after he returned home from the military. The two shared an 'instant connection.'
'Before we knew it, we were married and embracing the arrival of our precious kids,' Ms Tomlin said.
Mr Wade was an aspiring entrepreneur who spent his free time fishing, hiking, and riding his dirt bike. He also regularly volunteered in his community, such as building homes for families in need.
But he also had a history of drug use that started when he was a teenager. It started with marijuana before escalating to harder drugs.
'Throughout our relationship, he put in tremendous effort to break free from his addiction, and there were moments when he believed he had conquered it. But then, he would fall back into old patterns, and the cycle would restart,' Ms Tomlin said.
'Drug dependency had transformed Jacob into a different version of himself – someone who no longer recognized the person he had become.'
'The actions he took while under the influence haunted him when he was sober, casting a shadow of sadness and self-disappointment.'
In the above graph, the height of each bar shows the total number of drug overdose deaths occurring in that year. As overdose deaths rose in the United States from 38,329 in 2010 to 106,699 in 2021, the percentage involving both fentanyl and stimulants rose from 0.6 percent to 32.3 percent
Deaths caused by fentanyl in the US surged in the 2010s. At the start of the decade, 2,666 Americans died of a fentanyl overdose. This figure shot up to 19,413 by 2016. Covid made the situation worse, with a record 72,484 deaths recorded in 2021
The Department of Homeland Security has declared fentanyl the 'single greatest challenge the US faces as a country.'
The potent synthetic opioid is 50 times stronger