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Too many to test: Deadlier, harder to spot poison pills flood Indiana

In Indiana, there were 2,812 overdose deaths in 2021 according to the Indiana Department of Health Drug Overdose dashboard.

Cierra Putman (WTHR)

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Published: 9:00 PM EST February 7, 2023
Updated: 11:51 PM EST February 7, 2023

An evening knock at the door changed Dean Jeske’s life forever. On the other side, a state trooper with news from Bloomington where his youngest son, Peter, was attending Indiana University.

“I stood in the door for what felt like an hour,” Dean said.

Dean waited while the trooper went back to check some facts. He had the wrong name at first.

“I knew something was wrong, and my heart was pounding,” Dean said. “And he got out of his squad car and walked back up our driveway. And he said to me that thing that nobody ever wants to hear, which is, ‘I’m sorry to tell you sir, but your, your son was found dead in his apartment down at Indiana.'”

Dean said the news “demolished” his family. Weeks later, he would learn Peter died from fentanyl. It was a shock. The college student wasn’t known to do drugs. Dean started asking questions and now believes Peter didn’t overdose but instead was poisoned.

The Jeske’s believe the young man got a fake prescription pill – poison pill or “fentapil” – unaware that inside was enough fentanyl to kill.

Credit: Provided by family
Peter Jeske died after family members say he took a pill that contained fentanyl.

“Peter made a mistake,” Dean said by getting and taking a non-prescribed pill. “But the mistake he made, and the mistake so many of these young people are making, is not a mistake that should cost them their life.”

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