News ID: 203377
Published: 0215 GMT October 30, 2017

Childhood friends die on same day, half a mile apart (video)

Childhood friends die on same day, half a mile apart (video)

Twenty seconds is all it took to kill 19-year-old Dustin Manning. His devastated parents, Greg and Lisa Manning, said the toxicology report found he had taken a toxic mix of heroin and fentanyl, a synthetic opioid so powerful it's often fatal.

"The amount of fentanyl in his body was the equivalent to three grains of salt. That's all it took to kill a 180-pound guy," said Greg Manning.

According to, Dustin died on Friday, May 26, in Lawrenceville, a suburb on the outskirts of Atlanta.

At 6:09 a.m., paramedics were called to a home with reports of an unresponsive teenager. Dustin was dead.

"I had told him I'd get him up early for work, and I came up around 5:45 to wake him up, and when I opened the door, he looked like he was tying his shoes. Very quickly I realized, grabbed him and he was cold," said Greg Manning.

Lisa Manning was at the gym when she got the call from her husband. "He said, 'Oh my God, oh my God, call 911.' I didn't ask any questions. I knew."

Less than an hour later, at 6:53 a.m., another phone call was placed to 911.

Half a mile down the road, 18-year-old Joseph Abraham was found slumped on the floor by his parents, Dave and Kathi Abraham. He had no pulse.

"I started yelling and yelling and yelling, 'Joe, Joe — wake up, man!' And then I realized there was something really wrong," said Dave Abraham.

"As soon as I saw him, I knew and I just ran and I just started holding him and I could tell he was cold," said Kathi Abraham.

"Dave was on the phone to 911 and I said, 'It's too late. We can't fix this,'" she added, as tears welled in her eyes.

Dustin Manning and Joseph Abraham were childhood friends. They played on the same Little League team. For two years, Joseph's father coached them.

But in middle school, both began to dabble in drugs.

The Abrahams believe their son had his first dose of opioids when he had his wisdom teeth removed. He was prescribed the drugs again when he broke his ankle — and later, his hand — playing sports.

"When you're given a prescription from a doctor, we often just trust that," Kathi Abraham said.

She believes Joseph turned to drugs after dealing with two major tragedies at a young age.

"He lost two of his really good friends in eighth grade — one to cancer and one to a drowning. He really had a hard time. He struggled with that," she said.

At the age of 12, Dustin told his parents he felt like he was suffering depression. He soon started taking drugs.

Both parents sought help from treatment centers, not once, but time and time again. Lisa Manning even began working at one of the centers to keep an eye on her son and better understand addiction.

But Dave Abraham said the treatments weren't enough to fight his son's battle.

"Once they take (opioids), there's a switch in their brain that gets flipped on— and to get that switched flipped back could take up to five years, and most treatments are 35 days and they're back out," he said.

According to both sets of parents, Dustin and Joe hadn't been in touch in recent years, yet it appears they may have bought the drug that killed them from the same dealer. According to police records, some of the pill wrappings were almost identical.

There were fears in the community that other kids may have bought the same drugs.

Last year, about 64,000 Americans died from opioids, according to the first government account of nationwide drug deaths. That is more than the number of Americans killed in car accidents or by guns, combined.

Fentanyl, which is 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine, was devised to treat chronic pain. A tiny amount can be fatal.

The number of people killed by fentanyl has risen from 3,000 to more than 20,000 in just three years — a 540 percent increase.

President Trump has declared opioid addiction a public health emergency, which officials say will allow the federal government to waive some regulations and give states more flexibility in how they use federal funds. It does not provide any additional funding to deal with the crisis.
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