OLATHE, Kan. — An Olathe mom is warning parents about a deadly drug that took the life of her 22-year-old son.
March 4 was the worst day of Crystal Tucker’s life. It’s the day she found her son’s lifeless body inside their home.
“It absolutely tore my heart out,” Tucker said. “I immediately knew he was gone.”
Tucker thought her son Lantz might have died from a heart condition because he had been complaining of some chest and back pain days before he passed.
However, a toxicology report, released this month, shows Lantz died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid painkiller that is 50-100 times stronger than morphine.
“[Lantz] was a ‘I’ll try anything once’ kind of kid, and I think it’s important kids his age realize it only takes once,” Tucker said. “There might not be another chance.”
Tucker believes her son didn’t know he took fentanyl, but rather an “oxy pill.”
She found text messages on Lantz’ phone telling a friend he had bought what he thought was oxycodone from a random guy at a club weeks prior to overdosing.
“It was more of a ‘How did this happen?’ He knew better,” Tucker said. “I first learned about it from him, and he was telling me how dangerous of a drug it was. He was aware of the drug and still fell victim to it.”
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, pills containing deadly amounts of fentanyl can be blue or white. The agency said the most common pills have the letter ‘m’ on one side and number ’30’ on the other.
“I think not enough parents know that this threat is out there,” Tucker said. “They need to talk to their kids, have a judgement-free home.”
Tucker said Lantz didn’t have a drug problem. He just sometimes thought he was “invincible.”
She’s hoping her son’s death will serve as a cautionary tale because all she’s left with are memories of a child she said she couldn’t help but be happy around.
“Lantz was amazing. He was kind, compassionate,” she said. “He was smart, and he was funny, and he just lit up the room.”
Since Lantz loved animals, his family set up the Lantz Tucker Memorial Fund, which helps cover emergency bills for pets whose owners can’t afford it.