The police mentioned two Ohio State University college students died in obvious drug overdoses this week as health officers warned that pretend Adderall tablets may comprise fentanyl, a robust artificial opioid.
The police obtained a 911 name at 10:46 p.m. on Wednesday from a girl who reported that her roommate and her roommate’s associates had overdosed at an off-campus house, mentioned Officer Doran Carrier of the Columbus Division of Police. Three college college students have been taken to hospitals, he mentioned.
One person died that night time and one other died on Friday, mentioned Battalion Chief Jeffrey Geitter, a spokesman for the Columbus Division of Fire. The third scholar was discharged from the hospital on Thursday, the college’s president, Kristina M. Johnson, mentioned in a statement.
The two deaths have been “apparent overdoses” and are actually being investigated by the police division’s drug crimes bureau, mentioned Deputy Police Chief Smith Weir.
Police and hearth officers couldn’t supply extra details about the scholars’ identities, the trigger of demise or the potential medication concerned. The Franklin County Coroner’s Office didn’t reply to a request for touch upon Saturday.
Columbus Public Health issued an alert on Thursday about pretend Adderall, a prescription drug used to deal with attention deficit hyperactivity dysfunction. The company points security alerts about pretend medication, which might originate from its tip line, its community outreach program for overdose reduction or the suppliers in its alcohol and drug therapy companies, mentioned a spokeswoman, Kelli Newman.
She couldn’t handle the alert’s connection to the scholars’ deaths however mentioned the company was advised that “there are fake pills circulating that could be laced with fentanyl,” an artificial opioid that may be much more highly effective than heroin and is cheaper to supply and distribute.
More than 90 p.c of overdose deaths in central Ohio are tied to avenue medication adulterated with fentanyl, she mentioned.
The college students’ deaths come amid a rising demise toll of drug overdoses within the United States. The toll reached a report high of greater than 100,000 deaths within the 12-month interval that resulted in April 2021. The majority of the deaths have been linked to artificial opioids like fentanyl.
Dennis Pales, 21, a senior on the college and former president of a campus harm-reduction group, mentioned he had heard of different college students who overdosed from fentanyl-laced medication.
Students would inform him about these experiences as he handed out fentanyl take a look at strips and different provides. Many of the overdoses led to hospital visits, he mentioned, although some folks used Naloxone — a medicine used to reverse opioid overdoses — if they’d it as a result of they feared authorized repercussions from utilizing leisure medication.
The deaths this week got here as a shock to many college students as a result of they have been unaware of the dangers of pretend tablets, he mentioned, including that it was an particularly hard-hitting loss as seniors will graduate on Sunday.
In its first public security alert in six years, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration final yr warned of an “alarming” enhance in pretend prescription tablets containing fentanyl. The company, which seized at the very least 9.5 million counterfeit tablets final yr, reported that two of each 5 tablets seized contained deadly quantities of fentanyl.
Melissa Shivers, the college’s senior vp for scholar life, warned college students in a message on Thursday about pretend Adderall tablets “causing an increase in overdoses and hospitalizations.” Ms. Johnson linked to the message in a campuswide e mail on Thursday.
“As we approach a week and weekend of celebration, from end-of-year and graduation parties to the return of warmer weather, we want to urge you to consider safety as you celebrate,” Ms. Shivers mentioned.