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A tale of two mothers and heroin

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JOHNS CREEK, Ga. — At the Johns Creek Chamber of Commerce luncheon where Fulton D.A. Paul Howard spoke about the ongoing problem of heroin addiction sat two mothers.

The first mother in the audience was Forsyth resident Maggie Schmitz. Her son got hooked on opioids prescribed for a sports injury. One day he took what Schmitz says she is sure was fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. It killed her 27-year-old son, John.

Schmitz was attending the luncheon as the guest of Johns Creek Chamber exec Robin Buckley, Mom No.2 Buckley’s son was a friend of John Schmitz from childhood. And like John, he too was victim of opioid overdose.

Schmitz said she came because she wanted the Fulton district attorney and the Johns Creek police to know who her son’s drug dealer was. She knew the dealer’s identity.

“He lives in Johns Creek. All my son had to do was call him and he would drive to his house and deliver it. Like a pizza,” Schmitz said.

She came because she was frustrated by the lack of communication between Forsyth and Johns Creek authorities. She blames it on “turf.” Jurisdictions don’t like to get involved in each other’s cases.

Buckley said she wanted the audience to hear her friend’s story.

“It should not have to take the parents to get the authorities involved,” Buckley said.

Johns Creek police officers at the luncheon took down information and said they would take up the matter.

“It’s everybody’s problem. Heroin does not discriminate. Opiates rewire the brain, especially in young males,” Schmitz said. “It’s a terrible way to live. My son hated his addiction.”


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