HOBBS, NM (KCBD) - The effects of fentanyl have brought a great amount of pain to a Hobbs man and his family this week, as they believe it contributed to a deadly overdose.
Chip Low received the phone call about his son, Michael Low, from Lubbock police on Sunday.
"EMS had been working on him for a considerable period of time, but felt like that those efforts were going to be futile," Low said. "And about 15 to 20 minutes later, they called back and called and told me he was gone."
Michael was only 20 years old when Low said he lost a battle to mental illness and addiction.
"The history that we know, talking to his friends, we feel like that's probably the cause," Low said.
It all started when Michael began to suffer from anxiety and depression.
"Instead of seeking the proper help, he followed the easy route of the self-medication," Low said.
Michael had just gone to rehab over the summer, and his family believed he had turned away from fentanyl.
"He made tremendous progress in 90 days," Low said.
Low is still not sure why Michael took it again on Sunday.
"He made a mistake, and it cost him," he said.
Michael grew up in Lubbock, and graduated from Brownfield High School. He loved sports and animals, like his dog Molly. His friends say he had the ability to both show and spread love.
"He had a huge heart," Low said. "He was funny…unbelievably funny. Just made people laugh."
As they wait up to six months for Michael's toxicology reports, Low said they will use Michael's story to raise awareness about the fentanyl problem in Lubbock and beyond.
"We need people to know that it's there, and people to start facing the fact that we have a problem," he said, "and we need to deal with the problem effectively."
Michael's memorial donations will partially go to Morris Safe House for animals.
"He never met an animal he didn't take home," Low said.
Other donations will go to Teen Challenge Ministries, to help people like Michael make it through their fights for peace.
"It doesn't matter how they died, it's only that they're gone," Low said. "It's just that if anything can come out of it, that we can save one kid, or save any other family from going through this, that's what we want to do."
Michael's funeral will be hosted at 2 p.m. this Sunday at the Green Lawn Church of Christ at 5701 19th Street in Lubbock.
For more details or to find out how to donate, visit http://www.combestfamilyfuneralhomes.com/services.asp?page=odetail&id=1771&locid#.WBp7di0rJhG.