OCONTO FALLS, Wis. (WFRV) – It has been almost a year since a woman from Oconto Falls lost her son to fentanyl.
Charlene Beaumia’s son Joshua Stone died on December 8, 2022, after a fentanyl overdose.
“It’s been the hardest year of my life,” said Beaumia. “We were really close. When we were in the same area, when he was here, every 15 minutes [he would say] ‘Love you, Mom.'”
Stone was 32 when he passed, and for his mother, life has not gotten any easier.
“I still don’t go outside very often because it’s like the whole world is going on, and my son is gone, and nobody else gets it except our family,” Beaumia says.
Her only son started using drugs when he was 13 years old. He was in and out of prison for drug possession for most of his adult life and chronicled his struggles to stay clean in his journal.
Beaumia says, “It was about his daughter and how much he loved her, how he wanted to be there for her and give her a good life. He wrote about being concerned about being released because he didn’t know if he could kick it.”
Since his passing, Beaumia has been reminding parents to warn their children about the dangers of drugs.
“Please educate your kids. Tell your kids they’re never too young. Tell them because there are people that think they’re taking a Percocet and it’s Fentanyl, and they’re dying,” Beaumia says.
While her son was never able to overcome his addiction, Beaumia wants people to know that it doesn’t have to be the case for everyone as long as they have support.
She says, “Have a heart for these people. They feel horrible. They feel like losers. They feel like they are hopeless, but it’s not. There is help.”
Beaumia plans to become an advocate for Fentanyl awareness and talk with students in Northeast Wisconsin so they can learn how not to put themselves in harm’s way.