NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. (FOX 56) — Several dozen people rallied in Nicholasville Thursday night, hoping for an end to open-air drug use in the midst of a fentanyl crisis.

Grieving families stood together and demanded safer streets for all.

Jessamine County ranks fifth in the state for overdoses per capita. Data shows more than 2,000 Kentuckians died from a drug overdose in 2022. So, it’s no surprise that the families of those who died want their voices heard loud and clear.

Losing a child to a drug overdose is an unfortunate reality for many parents at the Family and Friends Against Drug Dealers Rally in Jessamine County.

Hildi Singer said her son had a substance use disorder, and she found him dead in his apartment.

“Linda Edwards, who’s the founder, and I both lost our sons about the same time to fentanyl, so we just do what we can to support each other,” Singer said.

Singer joined other parents like David Royse, who knows the same pain.

“My son, Chad Christopher, he was 48 years old when he died from a poisonous fentanyl-laced drug overdose in Kentucky,” Royse said.

“I wish I could say it was comforting, but it’s not,” Singer said. “I mean, we all share a common bond, but that’s about it.”

These families said they never thought the drug crisis would hit so close to home. Ron McCauley, who spearheaded the event, said they’re on a quest to end fentanyl deaths.

“Feb. 9, 2023, I buried my 37-year-old son: great son, great brother, great father, great friend for many,” McCauley said.


According to the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy, fentanyl was identified in more than half the 2,000 overdose cases in Kentucky in 2021.

Attendees said they believe the courts need to get tougher with drug dealers, including more jail time and higher bail.