ASHLAND CITY, Tenn. (WKRN) — It’s been 18 months since Anthony Clark’s 20-year-old son, Quintenn, overdosed on heroin, and even though it’s difficult for Clark to share his story, he does it in hopes it saves someone’s life.
Quintenn’s battle with addiction started with Xanax his senior year of high school, and after some time in treatment, it quickly escalated to heroin.
Clark told News 2 when Quintenn was in active addiction, he always worried he would get a call that his son had overdosed.
On March 2, 2021, the call came.
Quintenn stopped breathing and was pronounced dead from a heroin overdose at the hospital when he was 20 years old.
“He was my only son, and my last name died with him, and that’s a hard thing to deal with,” Clark said.
After Quintenn’s death, his family created the Quintenn Clark Foundation which spreads awareness about the dangers of drugs and raises money to send people to treatment. His parents often speak in schools, sharing their story.
“If we don’t talk about it, nothing is ever going to change,” Clark said. “For me, I will continue telling Quintenn’s story in hopes his story will help somebody else. I couldn’t help Quintenn, but hopefully using his story, I can help somebody else.”
Dr. Marshall Hall, TriStar Skyline’s Medical Director and Chairman of Emergency Medicine said the overdose-reversing drug, Narcan, or Naloxone, and awareness are two of the main ways to treat and prevent overdoses, which he said happen every day at the hospital.
Hall told News 2 more physicians are prescribing Narcan to their patients who are being treated after an overdose, and the drug is now available to the public without a prescription at pharmacies.
“The more Naloxone that we can get out into the community, the better,” Hall said.
However, according to Hall, the rising number of overdoses is a consequence to a much larger problem.
“For every overdose we see, there are countless people suffering from opioid use disorder, so the more we can get those patients into treatment, and the more we can prevent patients from even developing opioid use disorder in the first place, is important,” Hall said.
In an effort to prevent opioid addiction, doctors have started to use alternatives to opioids when prescribing medication for pain, including ibuprofen and Aleeve, depending on the situation.
Hall encouraged people to participate in drug takeback programs and turn in old prescriptions they no longer need to prevent people from developing opioid use disorder.
The Quintenn Clark Foundation will host a fundraiser called the 2nd Annual Recovery Quest on Saturday, Sept. 10 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Riverbluff Park in Ashland City. There will be food trucks, live music, raffles, poker runs and more. All ages are welcome.
To learn more about the Quintenn Clark Foundation or to find addiction treatment resources, click here.