Nashville Mayor Is Frank About Son's Death as She Returns to Work
Megan Barry says we need to focus on the opioid crisis
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2017 2:24 PM CDT
Nashville Mayor Megan Barry listens to a question during a news conference in her office Monday, Aug. 7, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn.   (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

(Newser) – Nashville Mayor Megan Barry is back to work Monday, little more than a week after her 22-year-old son died of an apparent drug overdose. In an emotional press conference upon her return, Barry was open about Max's drug use and death, explaining that he had completed a rehab program in Florida last summer, then graduated from the University of Puget Sound earlier this summer. He had just moved to Colorado and gotten a job when he died during a night with friends. "I don't want his death to define his life but we have to have a frank conversation about how he died," Barry said, per the Tennessean. "The reality is that Max overdosed on drugs."

She noted that Tennessee's Davidson County saw 245 opioid-related overdoses last year. It's not yet clear which drugs contributed to Max's death, but Narcan was administered in an attempt to save him. It didn't work, which shows that—though Nashville officers do carry it with them in case of an overdose—"as we continue to think about what we can be doing as a community, it's not that last moment," Barry said. "It's all those moments that come before the Narcan. That's meaning that we have to be more specific about this crisis." Also Monday, Barry published an op-ed in the Tennessean thanking the community for its support after Max's death.

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |  
6%
6%
62%
16%
8%
3%