US & Canada

Nashville mayor's son dies of apparent overdose

Megan Barry with son Max in 2015 Image copyright Facebook/Mayor Megan Barry
Image caption Megan Barry describes her only child, Max, as "a kind soul full of life"

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry has said her 22-year-old son died of what appeared to be a drug overdose, according to a family statement.

Max Barry "suffered from an overdose and passed away" in Denver on Saturday, said Ms Barry and her husband, Bruce.

The circumstances surrounding his death, including what substance he overdosed on, were not clear.

Max Barry had recently graduated from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, in June.

He died in Littleton, Colorado, a suburb of Denver, where he moved after graduation, according to the Tennessean newspaper.

"Early this morning, we received news that no parents should ever have to hear," the couple said in a statement on Sunday.

Image copyright Facebook/Megan Barry

"We cannot begin to describe the pain and heartbreak that comes with losing our only child. Our son was a kind soul full of life and love for his family and friends," the statement continued.

Max Barry is the only child of Mrs Barry and her husband, a professor at Vanderbilt University

"Our hearts break for Mayor Megan Barry," New York Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted. "Please keep her family in your thoughts."

Congressman Jim Cooper called it a "terrible tragedy that no family should have to suffer".

"My heart goes out to Megan and Bruce. They are such wonderful people," he told the Tennessean.

More than half a million people in the US died from drug overdoses between 2000 and 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Many of those deaths involved overdosing on an opioid, a type of drug used to relieve pain that has ravaged parts of the US.

Mrs Barry was sworn in as Nashville's first female mayor in 2015.

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