Scott Adams, the creator of satirical comic Dilbert, is mourning the loss of his 18-year-old stepson who died of a Fentanyl overdose.
The 61-year-old cartoonist revealed the heartbreaking news through a video on his Periscope, which was shared Monday.
Fighting back tears, Adams explained he received a call from his ex-wife over the weekend telling him that “the little boy I raised from the age of two was dead.”
Adams then said coroners found a fentanyl patch on his stepson Justin’s arm, and it is believed that he died of an overdose.
Adams also explained Justin was trying to “score Xanax,” a sedative that can treat anxiety and panic disorder, but is also known to cause paranoia, impair memory and judgment and suicidal ideation.
While Adams was visibly shaken up over Justin’s death, he explained his stepson battled addiction for a very long time. It all started when Justin sustained a serious head injury after being involved in an accident at 14-years-old.
Sadly, Justin is not the first to die of an apparent Fentanyl overdose.
In October of last year, Tom Petty was rushed to the hospital after suffering full cardiac arrest. He later died and his death was officially ruled as an accidental overdose due to taking several pain medications including Fentanyl.
According to a press release from the Ramsey, Minnesota, office, Prince’s death was an accident caused by “Fentanyl toxicity” and that “the decedent self-administered fentanyl.”
While Fentanyl may not be as immediately familiar to many people as more commonly cited drugs like Percocet or Oxycontin, addiction expert and founder of Origins Behavioral Healthcare, Ben Levenson, previously told PEOPLE the extremely powerful, synthetic opiate isn’t uncommon.
Explaining what exactly the drug is, Levenson – who also founded The Levenson Foundation and frequently works on Dr. Phil as an addiction advisor – compared the potency of the drug to other regular abused drugs.
“It’s very, very powerful. 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and 25 to 50 times more potent than heroin,” he said. “Depending on the grade, about 40 times more potent than heroin.”
The CDC estimates that fentanyl is 80 times as potent as morphine and hundreds of times more potent than heroin. Classified as a Schedule II drug by the federal government, its medical uses are typically pain management following surgery or for chronic pain.
If you or someone you know is in need of help, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.