Austin James Van Houten – Forever 19 – Fentanyl Poisoning Awareness

Meet Austin James Van Houten of Virginia Beach, VA….

Austin was a miracle.  After 2 years of trying to have a child, Dalton and I were unable to conceive so we put that dream on the back burner. Our dream made manifest. As life goes Dalton was stationed across the country when AJ was born, so it was all Mommy and Austin all the time.  He was my best friend, my shopping companion, and the light of everyone’s life. With the unfathomable love that was showered upon him by his Nana, Mimi, and Pops Austin grew to adjust. He was Pop’s boy.  Sometimes I wondered if I would get a chance to hold him.  Our family continued to grow to add a brother, Carter Banks, and a baby sister, Sarah Elizabeth.  Sarah came home from the hospital to an older brother dressed to the nines in a suit that he and his Nana picked out for the special occasion. Our family was complete. Austin began to play soccer and as it goes his brother and sister joined in on the fun. Blessed to be able to stay home I was able to be Austin’s room mother and soccer coach.  His gentle nature was evident everywhere he went.  As he grew older his interests evolved and he loved cooking with his Nana.  The only child I know loved asparagus. And just like that, we had a teenager who was learning to spread his wings. As Austin entered high school, new opportunities arose.  He tried his hand at NJROTC and when that didn’t make Austin happy, he decided to join the Cox High football team. 

What Happened….

Austin was a 10th-grade high school student where the drugs ran rapidly and still due to this day. Austin was not forthcoming about his mental state at first for fear of being judged, however, by the time he decided to tell his father, Dalton, and stepmom Roxann, sadly Austin was already on drugs already to cope with the loss of his nana, the divorce of his parents, the fact his grandmother moved across the country. This all happened in a matter of a year and a half. We didn’t see the signs until it was later in his addiction. Dalton and Roxan were able to get Austin some mental health and substance abuse treatment. In the last two years of Austin’s life, he fought a great battle overcoming addiction. On a fateful morning, Austin’s life changed when he decided to hang out with friends that were supposed to be in recovery but lied. Being that Austin was feeling neglected, unloved, and unworthy of love, his stepmom and grandfather stayed by his side while his mother and father took care of Austin’s siblings that were underage at the time. When this tragedy hit it was at the least expected time. Austin took a Xanax that was pure fentanyl and it sent him into cardiac arrest, and he never came back from it. Fortunately, Austin was a kind and loving person and signed up to be an organ donor when he turned 18. Unfortunately, a year later, all his organs were donated to save the lives of a lot of people. Austin is my hero.


Forever 19

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We are a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting against the devastating effects of fentanyl poisoning on our loved ones and communities. Our mission is to raise awareness, promote prevention efforts, and provide support to those impacted by this dangerous substance. As a non-profit organization, we rely on the generous support of individuals and organizations to help us achieve our goals. Your donation can make a difference in the lives of those affected by fentanyl poisoning, providing critical resources for prevention, education, and support services. By donating to our organization, you can help us to continue our important work and make a meaningful impact in the fight against fentanyl poisoning. We thank you for your support and commitment to our mission.

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