ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – A St. Augustine mom is speaking up about fentanyl deaths after her daughter died in May from being unknowingly exposed to the deadly drug.
Alexa McCondichie said her daughter Sarah Flinchbaugh was only 29 years old when she died. McCondichie wants to make it clear that her daughter’s death was not a result of an overdose -- it was a result of fentanyl poisoning.
McCondichie said she was unfamiliar with fentanyl and its effects before her daughter was exposed, but since has learned that fentanyl is the leading cause of death for people 18 to 45 years old.
Learning about the dangerous drug motivated McCondichie to speak out about her daughter’s death to bring awareness to the drug and its potential threats.
“Our kids need to know about it. They can put fentanyl in any drug, even marijuana. They can put it in anything. It’s such a lethal thing,” McCondichie said.
McCondichie has a banner made by a group called the Lost Voices of Fentanyl with pictures of those who have been killed by the dangerous drug.
She said she plans to go to Washington, DC to rally in front of the White House with Lost Voices of Fentanyl.
“I hope to let the government hear us. I’m going to have a sign that has Sarah’s name on it. I just hope to bring awareness. We could control this if we tried harder,” McCondichie said.
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McCondichie said Flinchbaugh only took one pill of what she thought was OxyContin. She died May 5 after taking a pill laced with fentanyl.
Flinchbaugh was an artist and a student at Flagler College at the time of her death.
“She was a thriving 29-year-old that had a life in front of her. She was beautiful and talented,” McCondichie said.
McCondichie said when detectives arrived at her home, they told her they had “three other homes” to respond to about fentanyl poisoning.
“Fentanyl killed my child. She took one pill that had fentanyl in it and it killed her. She went to sleep and never woke up. I never got the chance to say goodbye,” McCondichie said. “She took that pill and in one second she died. She just fell asleep, and I guess that gives me some sort of solice that she didn’t suffer before her death.
According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, just two milligrams of fentanyl can kill you.
McCondichie said her daughter battled addiction in the past, but when she died last May, that was the first pill she’d taken after being clean for two years.
“She had gone through a little hard time in her life, broke up with her boyfriend and went back to that pill. That one pill killed her, and I can’t get her back,” McCondichie said.
Flinchbaugh’s mother wants people to know the dangers of fentanyl, so this doesn’t happen to anyone else.
She also said the dealer that gave Flinchbaugh the fentanyl has not been arrested.