Traveling to Lapwai, Idaho, to contribute
raising awareness of the lethal dangers of Fentanyl
On August 14, 2022, I traveled to Lapwai, ID, for a three-day basketball tournament to honor the life of AJ Miles and to raise awareness of the lethal dangers of Fentanyl.
Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and can be deadly in an instant. It can be prescribed for pain, but it is also made illegally.
On the streets, Fentanyl is being mixed with other drugs, such as cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and MDMA. This is especially dangerous because people are often unaware that Fentanyl has been added.
The high potency of Fentanyl greatly increases the risk of overdose, especially if a person who uses drugs is unaware that a powder or pill contains it. They can underestimate the dose of opioids they are taking, resulting in an overdose. It can kill in an instance.
FROM KLEW: AJ Miles was a standout basketball player at Pullman High School. You know, we probably talk about AJ weekly at Pullman high school, and the kind of player and leader he was,” said Pullman Head Coach Craig Brantner.
“He was a magnetic person, he had friends from all walks of life and regions, so spreading positive energy on and off the court,” said AJ’s sister Celilo Miles.
“He loved playing it, but he also loved to watch other great players on the court as well,” said AJ’s sister Selina Miles. “AJ was such a giving person, and he could always point out someone’s positives over their negatives. He loved to crack jokes, but this tournament is to honor his life.”
But as much of a light that AJ Miles was, his sisters tell me he also struggled with mental health issues. He passed away in 2019 from Fentanyl. The Miles family is speaking out to create awareness on the importance of reaching out for help.
With the permission of the committee, these and many more pictures from 20 games are sold as a fundraiser. 100 percent of the net-proceeds will be donated back to the committee to continue to raise awareness about the dangers of Fentanyl.
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ANGELIKA URSULA DIETRICH, owner and publisher of Wild Horses Thunder and Wild Horses Media Productions, is a professional Freelance Photographer, Videographer, Publisher, Writer, Social Media Consultant, and Website Developer.
Angelika's photography work has been displayed on the front cover of Idaho Magazine (2022), the Nimiipuu Tribal Tribune, Cowboy Lifestyle Network (2021), Cowboys & Indians (2016 & 2018), and in various Oregon and Washington entertainment and vacation publications, Chief Joseph Days Rodeo Program and website (2012-2020), at Art Gallery Festivals, private businesses, as well as for display advertisement for many clients in and out of Wallowa County including the Wallowa County Chieftain (2003-2007).
Between 2007 and 2009, Angelika worked in radio as the news and sports director for owners Lee and Carol Lee Perkins at KWVR Radio in Enterprise, Oregon. After the station was sold, she created Wallowa Valley Online, an independent online news magazine publishing and writing news and engaging in photojournalism.
After ten years of Wallowa Valley Online, Angelika decided to concentrate more on her photography & video productions, and cover and write human interest stories on Wild Horses Thunder - The studio & journal, and volunteer at the Nez Perce Wallowa Homeland.