She Was a Reporter Covering the Opioid Epidemic. Then Her Daughter Overdosed.

“I have an obligation to talk about it. My number one reason for talking about it is to erase the stigma that is surrounding addiction.”

Investigative reporter Angela Kennecke was in the middle of reporting a story about the opioid epidemic this spring when she received the frantic phone call saying that her 21-year-old daughter, Emily, had overdosed on fentanyl.

A TV anchor for South Dakota CBS affiliate KELO, Kennecke has covered the overdose epidemic for years. After taking a few months off following her daughter’s death, she returned to work this week and shared her devastating personal story on KELO.

In an interview “CBS This Morning” Friday, Kennecke said she was aware that her normally gregarious daughter was struggling, but had no idea that Emily was addicted to heroin. “I had to walk a very fine line between trying to help her, trying to talk to her, and alienating her or pushing her away. So I was always trying to approach it with love,” she said. “We were working to get her help, I just didn’t get there on time.”

Overdoses killed an estimated 72,000 Americans last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As the death toll continues to rise, families are increasingly speaking frankly about the toll of addiction. “I thought, I have to talk about it,” said Kennecke. “I have an obligation to talk about it. My number one reason for talking about it is to erase the stigma that is surrounding addiction.”

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate