Who was Paige Gibbons? A College Freshman Tragically Dies from a Single Dose of Pure Fentanyl Mistaken for Percocet

Paige had taken the pill with two friends, one of whom also nearly died and the other did not take it.

A 19-year-old college freshman from New York, Paige Gibbons, tragically lost her life after unknowingly consuming a fentanyl-laced pill. Believing it was Percocet, Paige took the pill with a friend in November 2022.

Paige, who hailed from Pittsford, was a promising student at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. She had aspirations of becoming a doctor. Her father, David Gibbons, shared the heartbreaking details with New York's Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS). "She thought it was Percocet, but it was pure fentanyl," he said.

Paige Gibbson
Paige Gibbons, 19, Died from single dose of pure fentanyl which she mistaken for Percocet X

The tragic night unfolded at a friend's house where the parents were present. Paige and her friend believed they were taking a harmless Percocet pill. Hours later, a police officer arrived at the Gibbons' home with devastating news: Paige had died from an overdose. David vividly remembered his wife's reaction. "It was the loudest yell I'd heard in my life. I thought it was an intruder or something because why was she screaming?"

Paige had taken the pill with two friends, one of whom also nearly died. The other friend decided not to take the pill. The deadly pill had been purchased through social media. "She trusted, maybe, her friend or her friend trusted somebody they knew," Paige's mother, Kate, said. "We just thought of her as a little naive in that respect. Unfortunately, it cost her life."

Paige's parents stressed that their daughter was not a frequent drug user, a fact confirmed by her friends. "One mistake was obviously Paige's worst mistake in her whole life," David said. "We don't want her to be judged for the worst mistake she made."

Paige graduated from Our Lady of Mercy High School in Rochester. Her dream was to become a doctor. Now, 18 months after her untimely death, her family is sharing their painful story to prevent others from suffering the same fate.

The Gibbons family hopes that by telling Paige's story, they can raise awareness about the dangers of counterfeit drugs. "We want others to learn from our tragedy," Kate said. "We don't want any other family to go through this nightmare."

Paige's death underscores the critical need for increased awareness about the deadly risks of fentanyl-laced drugs. Her family's message is clear: one mistake can have fatal consequences.