A Montgomery County teenager who spent two nights in the hospital earlier this year after overdosing on a pill she didn’t know was laced with fentanyl is warning others about the dangers and spreading the message that it’s not worth it.
Mia Berneti, 17, tried opioids, she says for fun, for the first time in April.
“Nothing bad happened, I’ll just do it again,” Berneti said. “One more time wouldn’t hurt.”
Another time came in May, again, she said, for fun, but this time what she thought was a Percocet pill contained fentanyl.
“The next thing I know, I had EMTs surrounded above me,” Berneti said. “It was crazy. I couldn’t move. I was shaking because I was so cold.”
She called the experience traumatizing.
Medics saved her life using Narcan, the FDA-approved nasal spray that reverses the effects of an opioid overdose. She recovered for two nights at Texas Children’s Hospital in The Woodlands.
“Shock, disbelief, is this really happening?” Her mother, Priscilla Jones, said.
Jones said she thought she was doing the right thing as a mother by getting to know Berneti’s friends.
“That’s the biggest problem. They’re always willing to experiment on different things and thinking nothing will ever happen,” Jones said.
On Sept. 27, four months after Berneti’s overdose, she got a message from a friend on Instagram.
“They DM’d me, ‘Is Skyy dead?’” she said.
Skyy, her 19-year-old boyfriend, also overdosed on a fentanyl-laced pill. She said a friend found him dead, bringing shock and disbelief to her, too.
“Losing a loved one to something that’s not natural, it’s very hard on the people that love them,” Berneti said. “I know it feels good at first - it’s not worth it because people love you.”
According to the Montgomery County Forensic Services Department, the average age for a fentanyl-related death this year is 35. The synthetic opioid killed more than two dozen people in the county in 2022.
“I just don’t want people to feel the hurt that I have, and I don’t want anyone to go through what I’ve gone through,” Berneti said. “Having the mindset of, ‘This won’t happen to me,’ and ‘This won’t happen to someone that I love or care for,’ is not a good mindset.”