A Dartmouth mother is urging parents and teenagers to learn more about the dangers of prescription drugs after her daughter accidentally overdosed on hydromorphone.
Olivia Jollota, 15, died just over a year ago after sharing two Dilaudid capsules with an 18-year-old friend.
Olivia's mother, Dale Jollota, found her in her bed last April.
"I knew. I knew instantly. I just started to scream that she was dead. I was in a panic," Jollota recalled.
"Somehow I wound up on the floor outside my son's bedroom, screaming and screaming and trying to find a phone to call 911 because I just wanted somebody to help me. I just wanted somebody to fix her."
Jollota said autopsy results revealed her daughter had died of an acute hydromorphone intoxication, and no other drugs or alcohol were involved. She believes Olivia — an honours student — was not suicidal but was experimenting.
"She split two hydromorphone Dilaudid capsules. Her body just couldn't do it. She wasn't very big," Jollota told CBC News.
"We have to learn a new normal and how to live without her and it's just not fair."
Dale Jollota is speaking out and joining a growing group of families who are calling for justice, charges and convictions.
She said Halifax Regional Police are investigating her daughter's death.
"My daughter has paid the ultimate price for her mistake. She paid with her life. The people who gave her the drugs, who sold them the drugs, I think should be held accountable for their role," Jollota said.
The Dartmouth mother believes teenagers have no idea the risk they're taking when they experiment with pills.
"The kids have a misconception or misperception that these drugs are safe because somebody was prescribed them, they have to be safe. They also seem to think that you have to mix it with something else and that's just not the case. Olivia didn't mix it with anything. She went to watch movies and she died," she said.
"I learned the hard way that these medications are in people's homes all over, whether it's because there's been somebody in the home that's been in a situation where there's palliative care involved or they've been given it themselves for an injury or an illness. They're not locking these medications up and they need to be locked up."