Metro Detroit mother on mission to raise awareness about dangers of fentanyl after death of son

‘Angels’ billboards go up across the country

A Metro Detroit woman is making it her mission to raise awareness about the dangers of synthetic opiods.

CLARKSTON, Mich. – A Clarkston woman is making it her mission to raise awareness about the dangers of synthetic opiods, like fentanyl.

Rebecca Elmaksoud is determined to turn her heartache into advocacy after she lost her son, Brandon Reynolds, to fentanyl poisoning.

Elmaksoud is working with other families who have suffered a similar loss to raise awareness across the country. The goal is to make people aware of how dangerous fentanyl is.

She said her son was in rehab to help with alcohol abuse and was sober for some time before his death.

“He, unfortunately, went out and he was obviously seeking something and he got something entirely different. And he was poisoned, murdered,” Elmaksoud said.

She is making it her mission to eliminate the stigma around fentanyl and the lives it takes. In 2021, more than 107 thousand people in the U.S. died of drug overdoses and drug poisonings. Around 67% of those involved synthetic opioids like fentanyl, according to the CDC.

“These are people that are ingesting something they do not know they’re ingesting that they’re being given. That’s poisoning,” Elmaksoud said.

In October, she put up a billboard in honor of her son. The group she’s part of has already put up 90 billboards across the country with dozens of what they call their “angels.”

They hope the billboards won’t go unnoticed. A billboard in Michigan is going up in Lansing.

Click here to learn more about 4 Them We Fight.

Read: Can you overdose just by touching fentanyl? Many health experts say no

About the Authors:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.