KOKOMO, Ind. — Falecita Rubow’s son Blaine battled addiction since he was in high school with heroin being his drug of choice.
“He got in a lot of trouble after high school and got himself in with the wrong crowd,” Rubow said.
Rubow said he had been in and out of jail and rehabilitation programs. In October 2022, he was living with her, raising his kids and trying to get clean once again.
On Oct. 16, Blaine was upstairs in her Kokomo home and wasn’t answering calls from his kids. When she went to check on him she found him lying face down on the floor. He had vomited, wasn’t moving and was cold to the touch.
“I don’t want other moms to have to go through this,” Rubow said with tears in her eyes. “This is a terrible thing. He’s 32 years old and he had the rest of his life to live.”
According to the autopsy report, Blaine died of an overdose of several drugs including fentanyl and a drug that Rubow had never heard of before. The powerful animal tranquilizer Xylazine.
“Xylazine is a medication that is utilized by veterinarians and it is not for human consumption in any way shape or form,” said Mike Gannon with the Drug Enforcement Administration in Indianapolis.
Gannon said the agency is finding xylazine more and more. In 2021, the agency found the drug in 29 seizures made in Indiana. Gannon said a few years ago that number would be in the single digits.
He said drug dealers are cutting Xylazine with heroin, cocaine and even fentanyl. For some, it’s even being used as a marketing tool to make their product stand out.
“It acts as a central nervous system depressant and slows your heart rate way down and it can actually take the high and make it last longer,” Gannon explained.
The scariest thing for Gannon is that the life-saving drug Narcan can’t reverse a Xylazine overdose because it’s not an opiate.
“It’s just very scary, very dangerous stuff,” Gannon said.
Rubow knows that reality all too well and hopes what happened to her family and her son is a warning to others who were in the same situation.
“The next time that you try to get high could be your last time,” Rubow said. “I don’t want to see that happen.”
She is speaking out to warn other parents so that nobody has to live the nightmare she finds herself in right now.
“I don’t want anyone else to go through that,” Rubow said. “I don’t want anyone else to have to feel what we’re feeling.”
Rubow said the Howard County Drug Taskforce is currently investigating her son’s case to hopefully find the source of the drugs that killed him.
The National Institutes of Health said repeated use of Xylazine can cause skin ulcers and abscesses.
The DEA said the best way to protect yourself or your loved one is to stay away from drugs because they’re unregulated and nobody knows what’s really in them.