After her teenage son’s fatal overdose, an Odessa mother is urging families to talk about opioids

Local News

ODESSA, Texas (Nexstar) – Alisa Hancock vivdly recalls Saturday, November 6th. She was working that day.

Her son, 15-year-old Connor Stowe, was at home. He was alone.

“He wasn’t answering. So, I called his brother and he said, ‘Mom, he’s probably just sleeping,” Hancock said.

Earlier in the day, Alisa had asked Connor to look for a house key that had gone missing. Connor told her he would look for it. But as the day went on, all communication with Connor stopped. Alisa says she returned home. Unable to reach Connor by phone and without a house key, Alisa was locked out. Her eldest son was with her. He managed to get inside and opened the front door for Alisa. Together, they went to go look for Connor.

“We walked into his room, and instantly, we knew,” Hancock recalled.

Connor lost his life that day to an apparent overdose. Alisa says it was a pill that killed her son.

Just one day after Connor’s overdose, the Odessa Police Department shared a photo of a recent batch of Oxycodone pills, also referred to as M-30s. The pills were recovered by police. OPD said the pills were fake, and potentially contain other dangerous drugs mixed in with them. OPD also said, the same weekend Connor died, three other teenagers overdosed on opioids in the city. Their current condition is unknown.

“There’s so many things that I would tell him. First, I would tell him how much I love him. I would ask him why. I would ask him what he was thinking,” Hancock said. “He knew better. We talked about it.”

Alisa said that it wasn’t too long ago Connor had a close call when his friend nearly died from an overdose after snorting a pill.

So, how did the potent painkillers come into Connor’s life?

“I do think it’s a mixture of the group of friends he was hanging out with. I actually got onto Youtube, on the TV, and listened to the music he was listening to… that glorifies the pills,” Hancock said. “They say Percocet. They sit there and talk about it.”

But Connor was a quiet teenager, a freshman at Odessa High School. He was active too, spending hours in the gym. His mom says he was about six feet tall, and just loved playing football. His laughter was contagious. His smile was, too.

Connor was close to his big brother. He also had a steady relationship with his girlfriend of two years.

“My son was not a druggie. He was not a bad kid. He made a bad choice that took his life,” Hancock said.

Without Connor by her side anymore, Alisa says the only thing to do, is to share her son’s story with other parents, in hopes that it may prevent another family from losing a child.

“Even when you think you talked to your kids, keep talking to your kids. Even if you have to talk to them everyday… Just pay attention because life gets busy and we take everything for granted. I just replay and replay what I missed,” Hancock said. “There’s a lot of kids right now doing it, who haven’t died from it… they’re going to get ahold of the wrong one, one day. This is what’s going to happen.”

Odessa Police say, if anyone finds suspicious pills or knows of dangerous activity involving drugs, they’re always asked to give OPD a call.

For those interested in helping Connor’s family with funeral expenses and related costs, a GoFundMe is available here.

Friends and family gathered for a balloon release Friday night at Sherwood park to honor Connor’s life.

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