MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. (DC News Now) — In January, 16-year-old Landen Hausman overdosed after ingesting a counterfeit pill laced with fentanyl that he thought was a Percocet.
His father, Marc Hausman, is raising awareness about the dangers of fentanyl, hoping that by speaking up other families won’t have to experience the same pain.
“I can’t paint a picture of this kid that you would look at and say, ‘Oh, my gosh. Here’s a kid that’s in crisis,'” said Hausman, “because it didn’t look that way at all. What it looked like was, here’s a really popular social, smart, athletic kid that maybe he’s dealing with some issues on the side.”
Landen’s father said his son wasn’t an easy child to raise, though, and struggled with his mental health for years. He said his family tried to get Landen help, from rehab to wellness checks.
“As parents, we have to understand that our children are being approached by people who are interested in selling them dangerous narcotics,” said Hausman.
This week, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland announced that 24-year-old Mikiyas Maryie Kefyalwer was indicted for distributing the drugs that led to Landen’s death. If convicted, he faces life in prison.