FOX59 WXIN-TV recently spoke with a mother from central Indiana about the pain of losing her daughter to counterfeit pills that were laced with carfentanil. Rachel Totire found her 24-year-old daughter Torrie Hardin-Walsh after she died on March 8, 2018. Torrie was a mother of three, and her youngest was only three months old when she died. Found next to Torrie’s body were bottles of oxycodone pills, but toxicology tests showed it was not that drug that killed her. It was carfentanil.
DEA Agents told Fox59 that they have seen counterfeit prescription pills laced with fentanyl and carfentanil, a fact that Totire knows all too well. Since counterfeiters have gotten so good at producing realistic looking fake pills, Totire wants everyone to know that it is impossible for people to know what is in any pill bought on the street. “They don’t know. They think they’re getting oxycodone and they’re in the act of addiction and they don’t know. They just get it and they end up dying,” said Totire.
On losing a child, Totire said, “You think, ‘Oh I won’t happen to me, it won’t happen to me.’ It does and it’s happening every day, every day. It’s heartbreaking. Heartbreaking.” Not willing to let her daughter be written off as another statistic of America’s opioid crisis, Totire continues to tell her daughter’s story. She said, “I’m trying one person at a time. I couldn’t save mine, but I can try to help save the next one.”
Indiana is one of the 43 states in the U.S. in which counterfeit pills made with fentanyl and its analogues have been found. For more information, please read PSM’s 2018 Indiana Infosheet has a complete listing of all counterfeit drug incidents in the state.