Volusia County councilmember carries on brother’s legacy after fentanyl overdose

Volusia County Councilmember Matt Reinhart is putting his best foot forward to stop the distribution of fentanyl following the tragic overdose death of his older brother.

"My brother [was] someone I obviously looked up to," he said. 

Matt said his brother, John Reinhart, acquired pain medication through illegal means and ingested a fentanyl-laced pill, killing him. 

"It absolutely devastated me and my family," Reinhart said. "There's not a day that goes by [that] I don't think about my brother." 

The unfortunate situation has intensified his desire to end the drug crisis throughout the county.

Last week, Reinhart was in attendance during a massive Volusia Sheriff's Office bust involving 38 alleged meth and fentanyl dealers. He said his presence was a way to remain connected to the cause and stay hands-on regarding his mission.


"If this can help one person who has a brother like myself, that can remove them from [the illegal drug market] and start the first step in getting them help," he said. "Then let's do it." He said his goal is to speak up for those who suffer from addiction and hold people who peddle the drugs accountable.

To end the problem, he said, within his role as a council member, he will continue to focus on educating people to stray away from drug dealing. In addition to that, he said he will provide resources for people who fall victim to addiction. He also wants to offer alternative income methods for those who feel there aren’t many options.

Reinhart worked in Corrections for roughly 30 years. He tells FOX 35 News that if county leaders can get people the resources they need, they can lower the likelihood of returning to jail or prison due to drug-related crimes.

"One of the hardest things for me to wrap my head around was the recidivism rate," he said. "It's time to take it one step further. Give them the job; give them that second opportunity."

He urges anyone who needs help to seek resources, as he maintains that many organizations are willing to help. One notable organization is the Volusia Recovery Alliance, which has partnered with the council in the past.

"It's not just law enforcement's problem; it's everybody's problem," he said.