Parents of man who died from fentanyl overdose share powerful message

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A Columbus man's parents have taken to social media to spread the word about the dangers of fentanyl.

"People just are not listening," Debbie Gibney said.

"People aren't aware," Brett Gibney said.

It's a picture posted by the Gibneys. It's not worth a thousand words. It's worth a life.

"We really want to send a strong message to people about fentanyl and how powerful these drugs are," Brett said.

Pictures show their son before the drugs and before the addiction. Brent Gibney struggled for years addicted to opiates.

Brent Gibney, left, with his father Brett.

"We think that people are misled on how powerful these drugs really are," Brett said.

Brent was in the Franklin County jail last year and had been there for seven months while awaiting trial on robbery charges. Guards found him on Oct. 1 unresponsive in his cell. Fentanyl was found in his system. He spent three days in the hospital.

On Oct. 4, Brent Gibney died. He was 29.

"Brent had three-and-a-half times the lethal dose in his system," Brett said. "He thought it was heroin."

His parents have questions about his death. How? Why? But, those are for a different time.

Now is the time for change.

"It's a very powerful image and we've had 21,000 shares on Facebook and we really want this message out," Brett said.

Attached to the family's post were words typed by Brett:

"This is how much fentanyl it takes to kill you. BTW...this is not fentanyl, heroin, or meth. This is my son's ashes!!!!"

It's powerful. It's shocking. It's meaningful. More than anything it's relatable.

"Thousands of people are going through the same thing we are," Brett said.

It doesn't take long to find one: a comment on the post from someone knowing what that pain feels like. It's the pain of a lost loved one. The pain of an overdose.

"If this saves one life from a fentanyl overdose, we've accomplished our mission," Brett said.

According to the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, the investigation into Brent Gibney's death is not closed.