James Moore helps the fight against substance abuse and overdose

James Moore, owner of Moore’s Bicycle Shop in Hattiesburg, lost his son Jeffery Moore in 2015 to a drug overdose. Moore’s son was asked to leave a 90-day program after being there 60 days. He was on his fourth behavioral violation due to smoking tobacco products, which was prohibited. He was picked up from the facility by his devastated father. 

“I remember going to pick him up, and I was so upset with him because again he had chosen self above family,” said Moore. 

Jeffery overdosed just eight days after leaving the treatment center on heroin that was laced with fentanyl. The Moore was angry because he said no one had told him that his son had a higher chance of overdose being sober for two months should he begin using drugs again. It wasn’t until after his son was dead that Moore saw a television program explaining Narcan and what it was used for. Moore said that someone at that facility should have told him about Narcan and what it can do. 

“The remedy for an overdose would be Narcan, if given to a person in time. The Narcan goes into the nose and into the bloodstream and knocks the opioids off the receptors of the brain that controls involuntary movements like breathing,” said Moore. “If given in time, the patient is able to begin breathing on their own rather than dying from a lack of oxygen.”  

 Moore is heavily involved in substance abuse disorders advocacy and helps other addicts who are struggling. Anyone who needs Narcan can go to Moore’s Bicycle Shop with no questions asked. The only requirement is that the person asking watches a six-minute video on how it is administered.  

Just recently, he has even begam handing out fentanyl testing strips. A user can scrape a tiny bit of the drug onto the testing strip, and it will be able to detect if it contains fentanyl. However, these testing stripes are deemed illegal because they are classified as drug paraphernal. There has been a steady increase in the drug overdoses associated with the synthetic drug, fentanyl. 

The way that fentanyl affects the body is by causing relaxation, euphoria, pain relief, sedation, drowsiness, dizziness, nausea and vomiting, urinary retention, pupillary constriction and respiratory depression according to DEA.gov. This highly potent drug is 50-100 times stronger than morphine. Originally, it was created to treat cancer patients with pain. However, due to the strength of the drug, it is highly addictive.  

Often it is added to heroin or methamphetamine to increase the “high” associated with the drugs. People are buying these drugs and sometimes are unaware that the drug they are purchasing is laced with fentanyl and can lead to overdoses. According to DEA.gov, fentanyl is primarily manufactured in Mexico. 

The University of Southern Mississippi also offers various alcohol and drug programs, as well as resources such as Eagle Check-up located at the Moffitt Health Center and the Shatterproof Association Organization.  

“If I could give advice to someone who is battling substance abuse, would tell them to seek help. It is a very difficult thing to battle by yourself. Your chances of succeeding are greater if you are in a community of like-minded people who know what it’s like to be you and you feel safe around those people,” said Moore.