Clad in sweatpants, bunnyhugs and soft blankets, with days of hospital stays on their faces, the parents of Ally Krieg diligently watch over their child.
In the next room, their 16-year-old daughter lies in a medically-induced coma as her body recovers from an overdose of the powerful painkiller fentanyl.
Ally’s mother, Brigette Krieg says her daughter had used the drug before but as far as she knew, she was not an addict. She said her daughter may have thought death was the only way to end years of bullying, which came to a head in June.
Two of Ally’s friends were hospitalized when they overdosed on fentanyl in the back of her car, Krieg said. Though they survived, others blamed Ally for their overdose; some going as far as to say she, not her friends, should have been the one to overdose that day.
“People are hurting, they’re scared and they’re looking for someone to blame, and that ended up being my daughter,” Krieg said, adding she witnessed her daughter plunge into depression.
Ally was seeing a counsellor and the only drugs she was taking was an anti-depressant, her mother said.
“She said whenever I feel, all I feel is pain and sadness and I just don’t want to feel anymore,” she said.
Smiling photos of a young Ally adorn the teen’s Facebook page. Krieg said their ‘kumbaya-kid’ was always quick to love, slow to anger and thought there were no bad people, just those who make bad choices.
“You had to give her a lot of reasons for her not to love you,” Krieg said.
The mother and daughter talked about nearly everything, Krieg monitored her daughter’s phone and social media, and they had many conversations about drug use.
Krieg isn’t sure what finally set her daughter on the path to a drug overdose. She said the thought of going back to school may have been part of the reason.
Following Ally’s hospitalization, Krieg said she continued to get hurtful messages from kids who said her daughter knew what she was doing and deserved to be where she was. However, many others have apologized for what they may have said in the past to hurt Ally.
Krieg is no stranger to speaking out about bullying. Last year, she vocally supported an anti-bullying bylaw.
“If we can have anything positive come out of this, it’s that we can encourage kids to look at the experience that Ally’s having right now,” Krieg said. “Before you say whatever is in your mind — those negative words that you want to spew at somebody — stop and think about how those words are going to impact that person.”
She hopes parents and authorities do more to stop kids from getting their hands on fentanyl.
Saskatchewan had 10 confirmed fentanyl overdose deaths both last year and 2013, four in 2012, two in 2011 and one in 2010, showing an upward trend in the drug’s usage.
“We have a society assumption that the kids that are using fentanyl are kids from bad homes with bad parents who probably have a long history with the law, who are not in school. That’s not the case,” she said.
“We have a society assumption that the kids that are using fentanyl are kids from bad homes with bad parents who probably have a long history with the law, who are not in school. That’s not the case.”
She also urged for more to be done to recognize and treat teen depression, before it’s too late.
For now Ally remains in stable condition. Her family said doctors plan to wake her up for a couple minutes on Monday to see how she is doing. Her family will be there when she wakes up.