U.S. health official reveals fentanyl almost killed his son

The head of the nation’s top public health agency says the opioid epidemic will be one of his priorities, and he revealed a personal reason for it: His son almost died from taking cocaine contaminated with the powerful painkiller fentanyl.

“For me, it’s personal. I almost lost one of my children from it,” Dr. Robert Redfield Jr. told the annual conference of the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

The Associated Press reported viewing a video of his speech, which he recently delivered in New Orleans. Redfield declined to speak about it, except to say in a statement: “It’s important for society to embrace and support families who are fighting to win the battle of addiction — because stigma is the enemy of public health.”

Mike Stobbe/Associated Press