A young mayor, his friend, and a fatal attraction to opioids

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. (AP) — The family of a young Pennsylvania mayor is speaking out for the first time about his death one year ago.

Brandon Wentz was just 22 when he became mayor of the tiny Pennsylvania town of Mount Carbon. He died suddenly last November at age 24, just hours after resigning from office due to a family move.

Wentz’s family says he died of an overdose of heroin and fentanyl. They say they had no idea this well-liked, kind-hearted young man had ever tried opioids.

Wentz’s mother, Janel Firestone, says, “Brandon made a mistake and paid the ultimate price.”

Wentz’s passing came near the end of a year that saw a record number of drug overdose deaths — more than 72,000 nationwide. President Donald Trump has declared the U.S. opioid epidemic to be a “public health emergency.”

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