California Woman Loses Entire Family to Suspected Drug Overdose

A woman has described her devastation after her parents and brother were found dead from suspected drug overdoses just weeks before she is due to give birth.

Karissa Foster, who is eight-and-a-half months pregnant with twin boys, spoke to KGTV after her family were all found dead on the same night at their home in Vista, California, on June 11.

While toxicology results have not been returned yet, Foster, a recovering drug addict herself who has been clean for nearly nine years, said she believes her mother Cheryl, 48, father Michael, 50, and 27-year-old brother Ethan, all died after taking methamphetamine that had been cut with fentanyl.

"Unreal, devastating and very, very painful," Foster told KGTV. "When I do let myself think about it, it's very hard.

"I believe my mom was found in the kitchen, and my dad and brother were found in the bedroom.

"I believe that they purchased meth, and it was cut or contaminated with fentanyl."

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid and prescription drug that people take recreationally as a heroin-like substance.

It has been linked to a wave of overdose deaths in the U.S. as users can be unaware they are taking the drug, which can be as much as 100 times stronger than morphine.

Foster, who works as a substance abuse counselor for the nonprofit Alpha Project, said she previously tried to help her family stop using drugs during the pandemic.

Despite her huge loss, Foster said she is trying to hold it together for the sake of her unborn children

"I've been to the hospital a couple times with contractions—Braxton Hicks—because I'm so upset," said Foster.

Foster said she is sharing her story in the hopes that others who are struggling with drug addiction will reach out for help.

"Don't be afraid, because you could be betting your life on it ... I just want people to recognize their worth and be able to get the help they need," said Foster.

A GoFundMe page to raise money for Foster following the tragedy has since gone on to attract more than $16,000 in donations, at time of writing.

"The shock and emotional impact of this will be enormous for her and her babies, but she also has to figure out how to cover the costs of final arrangements for THREE people at once," the page description reads.

"She needs the support of her community and the community at large. She will not be able to work for a while given her medical state.

"Something like this can devastate a person financially and take years to crawl out of the hole. Karissa and her twins need the help of her friends, family, and kind internet strangers to get through this incredible tragedy."

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department has been contacted for comment.

drug overdose vista
(File photo) Bags of heroin, some laced with fentanyl, are displayed before a press conference regarding a major drug bust, at the office of the New York Attorney General, September 23, 2016 in New York City. A woman has lost her parents and brother to suspected drug overdoses just weeks before she is due to give birth.