Country star Jelly Roll talked about why he’s been speaking out about the dangers of fentanyl and said it scares him for “this next generation,” especially his own children.
The 39-year-old country singer — born Jason Bradley DeFord — said our country has “seen crack,” cocaine and opioids, but said “we’ve never seen something that is so deadly in such small amounts that’s being mixed in so many different things,” People magazine reported.
“My daughter will never experience the safety of experimenting with drugs,” the father of two told the outlet. “I know that sounds crazy to say, but when I was a kid, my mother would be like, ‘You’re going to try everything once. Just be safe.’ It’s not safe for any kid to be doing anything.”
“How many more people does [fentanyl] have to kill a day before we start to care, if the number right now is close to 200,” he added. “I just think it’s time to speak about it. It scares me for my daughter. It scares me for my son. It scares me for this next generation. We’ve never seen nothing like fentanyl.”
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“I think opening conversations about some of this stuff is the beginning of healing, right?” Ford continued. “A lot of problems we have in America is that we just don’t openly talk about the s*** that’s really happening the way we should. It’s kind of like once you break the ice and put them on the table, then can’t ignore it much longer after that.”
The country singer previously talked about the fentanyl epidemic during a hearing on Capitol Hill in January where he made a plea to lawmakers to shut down the distribution of the synthetic opioid.
“I’ve attended more funerals than I care to share with you all [on] this committee,” Ford said about his own experiences with drugs.
“I could sit here and cry for days about the caskets I’ve carried of people I loved dearly, deeply in my soul — good people, not just drug addicts,” he added. “Uncles, friends, cousins, normal people, some people that just got in a car wreck and started taking a pain pill to manage it.”
“One thing led to the other and how fast it spirals out of control — I don’t think people truly, truly understand,” Ford continued.
According to the CDC, “more than 150 people die every day from overdoses related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl.”
The “Son of a Sinner” hitmaker turned his life around after spending some 40 times behind bars for various drug-related charges, starting as young as 14, People noted.
The singer’s career has been exploding lately, scoring two Grammy nominations after managing to get three number 1 country hits and winning New Artist of the Year at the CMA Awards.