Family speaks out after Smithers fentanyl overdose death

The mother and grandmother of a fentanyl overdose victim hope others will heed the lethal dangers lurking in drug use.

22-year-old Dallan Machata of Smithers died of a fentanyl overdose Oct. 14

Dallan Machata, a 22-year old Smithers resident, overdosed on fentanyl, Oct. 14.

“I was at home, and my daughter and Dallan’s friends came running into my house screaming and crying,” said Joanne Machata, Dallan’s mother. “His buddy had taken him to the hospital. So we jumped into our vehicles and ran.”

Medical staff tried for more than 20 minutes to revive Dallan before putting him on ventilation and flying him to Prince George. “There was such extensive brain and cell damage, they could not save him,” she said.

“It was horrific. I never imagined this could happen,” said Joanne. “I think he knew we were there. I like to believe so.”

Both chose to tell this story because they believe if just one person will realize they can and they probably will die if they take fentanyl then some good will have come from their tragedy.

“Just don’t do this,” said Joanne. “It is not worth it.”

Fentanyl-related overdose deaths have spiked this year across British Columbia, especially in the Lower Mainland and on Vancouver Island. The BC Coroners Service reports that In the first nine months of this year, 555 people overdosed, and 32 of those were in the north. Of those, 6 were in the northwest (including Smithers), 13 in the northern interior, and 13 in the northeast.

“The effects of fentanyl are unpredictable. Users have no idea the level of purity or the potency of what they take. When mixed with antidepressants, fentanyl is potentially lethal.” said Smithers RCMP detachment Sgt. Shaun Begg. “As little as two milligrams of fentanyl is enough to cause overdose and death. That amount is as small as two grains of salt.”

A celebration of Dallan’s life will be held at the Old Church in Smithers Sunday, Oct. 30, starting at 10 a.m. Anyone wishing to donate to the Dallan Machata family’s gofundme page will be assisting to pay for his funeral expenses.

For more on this story, read The Interior News Nov. 2 edition.