College Campus Parties, Drugs, and Death:
“Prescription” Meds Laced with Fentanyl Hit Colleges Nationwide
We see fairly frequent media reports about college students being seriously injured and even killed in hazing incidents. Unfortunately, college and university students are exposed to serious risks outside of the Greek system as well. For example, there are college sanctioned events as well as activities sponsored by school approved organizations in which mind-altering substances are available, including a potentially deadly combination of drugs.
During the summer before her senior year at the University of Colorado, a young woman named Maddy was at a party celebrating the end of summer the approaching school term. She was given what she was told was a Xanax while at the event.
Over the course of the past decade, prescription medications have become “party favors” at a growing number of college and university social functions. Some of these prescription medications are what they are advertised to be by those supplying the substances. People pilfer or otherwise get their hands on actual prescription meds which they, in turn, sell to partying college and university students.
An alarming trend is college students being provided tablets produced in black market labs that are said to be certain types of medications and turn out to be anything but. In the case of Maddy, she bought a tablet at a party for $5 which she was told was Xanax and proved to be something quite different and deadly. Rather than being a true Xanax tablet, Maddy was provided a pill that contained a large amount of fentanyl. The young woman, with a bright future ahead, died – joining over
Just before the holidays and winter break at the end of 2019, a similar situation occurred at Arizona State University. In this case, a young man named Ivan was found dead in his dorm room. At the scene, tablets that were labeled as Xanax were found in a plastic bag. There was also marijuana and alcohol in Ivan’s dorm room as well.
A friend of Ivan’s witnessed the young man take a couple of the referenced pills earlier in the day, tablets Ivan believed to be Xanax. The same friend went to Ivan’s dorm room later in the day, finding him unresponsive. Medical personnel were unable to resuscitate the young man.
The coroner’s report ultimately revealed that there was alcohol, marijuana, and fentanyl in Ivan’s system, but no Xanax. The coroner ultimately concluded that the young an unknowingly ingested fentanyl and died from an overdose of that drug.
The medical examiner noted that the fentanyl contained in Ivan’s system and found in the tablets identified as Xanax is 80 to 200 more potent than morphine. Ingesting two such mid-identified pills made a lethal overdose a given.
Ivan joined over 77,000 people across the United States who died as the result of fentanyl overdoses in 2019. This includes an increasing percentage of young people who ingest what they believe is some type of reasonably safe prescription medication only to unwittingly ingest a deadly amount of fentanyl.
While college and universities are not responsible for everything that happens to those students in their charge, when campus activities or school-sanctioned events are the staging grounds to young people obtaining deadly mind-altering substances, a school may bear some level of legal responsibility for a young person’s death. A college or university has a legal obligation to maintain a reasonably safe environment for students.
If you’re the parent of a student that died at some type of campus function or school-sanctioned event, a Doan Law Firm wrongful death lawyer can evaluate what might be available to you to obtain justice in your case. A nationwide law firm with offices from coast to coast, you can schedule an initial consultation by contacting our wrongful death lawyer team at (800) 349-0000. We can schedule an initial consultation at any one of our offices located across the country. In addition, we can schedule a virtual appointment online as well. There is no charge for an initial consultation with a Doan Law Firm wrongful death lawyer.
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