San Francisco rave fatality: tainted drugs?

June 1, 2010, 10:10 am

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that a 20-year-old man died and 10 others were taken to hospital — 5 in critical condition — after a rave event this weekend at the Cow Palace.  A spokeswoman for the S.F. Dept. of Public Health stated in the article that “obviously someone was either giving away or selling drugs that were laced with something that caused a number of kids to be taken to the hospital”.  The event — called “Pop 2010: The Dream” attracted more than 16,000 attendees.  At least 70 were arrested on suspicion of selling drugs.

Although complete details about these cases have not yet been released, manifestations seem to include high fever, coagulopathy, renal failure, and lethargy.  Known drugs seized at the rave included ecstasy (800 tablets), LSD, and methamphetamine.  Although drugs tainted with other toxins are always possible, ecstasy (MDMA) itself can certainly cause all of these effects. Likewise, methamphetamine could cause severe hyperthermia leading to multi-organ failure.  It will be interesting to see if any other substances turn up on the toxicology tests.  We will continue to follow this story.

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