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Father warns parents about dangers of fentanyl after losing both sons

Both of Matt Riviere's sons died the same night after taking a counterfeit pill in July.

MONUMENT, Colo. — A father in Monument is warning other parents about the dangers of fentanyl, and wanting them to have conversations with their kids.

Both of Matt Riviere's sons died the same night after taking a counterfeit pill in July. He isn't calling this an overdose, but rather a poisoning, because he said his sons didn't know the drug they were actually taking.

"They were very close and they spent a lot of time together as they grew up," Riviere said. 

Andrew, 21, and Stephen 19, were more than brothers. They were best friends who lived and worked together.

"They were good kids that made a really bad choice back in July, and they both struggled with mental health issues," he said. "Andrew was bipolar and Stephen struggled with anxiety and depression to a much lesser extent."

According to Riviere, his sons never knew they were taking fentanyl.

"They had these oxy pills they found in their apartment," he said. "They ended up dying side by side in their bed. So I figure they ingested them and slowed them down, they laid down and never woke up."

Andrew and Stephen are the reason he went to the state capitol in March. He's supporting a new bipartisan bill that would toughen penalties for dealing fentanyl. 

"They should have never died experimenting with something they thought was a non-deadly drug," he said at a news conference with lawmakers in March. "They were poisoned and they were murdered by greedy people who have no regard for human life."

Riviere doesn't want another family to feel his pain. Lawmakers are talking about fentanyl, and he wants parents to bring it up too.

"My whole goal and my whole desire is to save people from making the same bad and dumb choice my kids made," he said.

RELATED: Brighton toddler who died of fentanyl poisoning had been left alone for nearly 14 hours, police say

RELATED: Accidental fentanyl overdose claims life of teen, school says

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