Alberta girls die after taking ecstasy

By Euphoric · Mar 27, 2009 · ·
  1. Euphoric
    Alberta girls die after taking ecstasy
    Two were among nine girls on Paul First Nation near Edmonton who had consumed illegal drug

    EDMONTON -- Two Alberta teens who slipped into comas on the weekend after taking the street drug ecstasy with seven friends have died within hours of each other after being removed from life support.

    Trinity Dawn Bird, 15, died Tuesday evening at an Edmonton hospital. Leah Dominique House, 14, died a few hours later.

    Both girls were members of the Paul First Nation, about 80 kilometres west of Edmonton. A third girl who fell seriously ill after taking the illegal drug was still recovering in hospital yesterday.

    The incident has upset and angered many band members, who are questioning how the girls were able to obtain the drugs.

    "I wish they would bust all these fucking dealerz [sic] and put there [sic] ass in jail," Courtney Bird, Trinity's cousin, angrily wrote on a social networking Internet site.

    RCMP officers were called to the small reserve around 12:45 a.m. Sunday after one of the girls stumbled into the crowded community hall, where a traditional wedding round dance was being held, and collapsed.

    "When she collapsed, the wedding celebration abruptly halted, and people went into rescue mode," said Dennis Paul, a community leader. "And we then found out that there were nine [girls] altogether who had been taking the drugs."

    Members of the reserve, which has 1,100 residents, gathered last night to pray and remember the two teens. The funerals have tentatively been planned for tomorrow.

    Shortly after the girls were hospitalized, rumours began to circulate around the reserve that the drugs had been laced with rat poison. However, police have said tests ruled that out.

    Autopsies will be conducted on both teens to determine the cause of death.

    The RCMP are still investigating the incident. They are also planning to speak with local youth in the coming weeks about the dangers of using street drugs.

    "With a street-level drug, you have absolutely no idea what you are taking," RCMP Corporal Wayne Oakes said.

    He said drug problems aren't unique to the Paul Band First Nation. "These types of issues are present in virtually every Alberta community," he said.


    March 26, 2009


    Colby Cosh: Going to extremes in search of a cause

    Warning: this column falls under the heading “Am I slowly going insane or is there more than meets the eye here?”

    Canada’s press has been reporting this week on a heartbreaking incident that took place at the Paul First Nation 60 kilometres west of Edmonton. Several girls getting ready to attend a Sunday wedding reception took what they thought was MDMA, the popular club amphetamine known as ecstasy. Three or four of them fell ill, and two went into a coma and have since died. This is a confusing event, but the reaction has been even more confusing.

    Many early news accounts uncritically described the sick girls as having fallen prey to an “overdose” of ecstasy. Now, as it happens, ecstasy “overdoses” are a lot less common than you might think. Earlier this month, a top drug-safety adviser to the U.K. government, David Nutt, caught hell for pointing out that if we redefined horseback riding as a behavioural addiction called “equasy,” any rational harm scale would find it to be far more lethal than ecstasy. Nutt pegged the number of acute harm events from ecstasy use, for the purposes of contrived controversy, at no more than 1 per 10,000 exposures.

    Yet even this is probably a massive exaggeration of the true amount of harm from ecstasy as such. Exact figures are hard to derive precisely because toxic reactions to ecstasy are so rare, and the drug does not even seem to have an established LD-50 (median lethal dosage) for humans. As pharmacologist Richard Green pointed out in a 2004 article, “In the U.K., there are around 12-15 deaths a year in persons who have taken MDMA. Given the fact that around 500,000 young persons ingest the drug in a very uncontrolled way every week in this country, these figures do not indicate MDMA to be a particularly toxic compound.” (The media, he added, was responsible for “much nonsense about MDMA being presented.”)

    And how many of those 12-15 deaths are actually the result of legitimate, uncomplicated overdoses, or of adverse reactions to ecstasy alone? Probably not many. A lot of “ecstasy deaths” turn out to be the result of hyperthermia and dehydration on hot, crowded dance floors. Others result from drug interactions. We might really be talking about roughly five genuine ecstasy deaths a year, against a U.K. background of about 25 million annual exposures to MDMA.

    Those are long odds. Long enough to make it awfully suspicious that two girls in Western Canada should essentially drop dead at the same moment, without some common etiological element besides MDMA. Since the ill-fated girls weren’t at a dance or rave, the obvious possibility that comes to mind is some impurity or adulteration in the batch of pills they took. If so, killer drugs may be circulating in the vicinity of Edmonton.

    So far, there have been no other reports of adverse reactions to ecstasy. The RCMP is on the case, but for unclear reasons, they seem to find the “crazy coincidence” theory pretty satisfying. K Division spokesman Cpl. Wayne Oakes said that Stollery Children’s Hospital staff found no evidence the girls had ingested anything but pure ecstasy, and he went out of his way to dismiss “rumours” that they had received a bad batch of pills. “It’s not uncommon in a tragic situation like this for rumours of that nature to arise,” he told CTV News, “because it’s so devastating, it’s so out of the norm, and they’re looking for some extreme cause to rationalize a tragedy like this.”

    Well, yes. There are two dead girls who were alive last week; it is indeed natural to look for an “extreme cause.” But it seems to me that the people who wondered about rat poison were basically showing good epidemiological instincts, and it’s the RCMP’s implicit explanation for the incident that should be regarded as the weird one.

    The police, in general, are not known for their scientific literacy (or consistency or honesty) when it comes to illicit drugs. Like the media, they have a known susceptibility to unfounded claims and moral panics. And they are responsible for an abundant record of reported “ecstasy overdoses” that weren’t. I am concerned that in this case, they may be accepting an account of events that fits the drug warrior’s animistic world-view — evil party drug kills innocent teenagers — but that doesn’t have much basis in fact.

    It might be an idle question, were it not for the possible risk to other ecstasy users who have essentially been reassured by Cpl. Oakes that nobody’s rave needs to be postponed just because of that downer on the rez. I appeal to the Chief Medical Examiner of Alberta to exercise diligence in protecting the welfare of this region’s hippies, burnouts, flakes and slackers.

    National Post

    Posted: March 26, 2009, 6:08 PM by NP Editor
    Colby Cosh

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  1. Sven99
    Two more casualties of a war that makes it easy for teenagers to get hold of dangerous chemicals in a quality-control free environment. May they rest in peace, and may those who engineered their deaths by starting this war be one day held accountable.
  2. Milk man
    This is horrible. Swim is really interested in what the hell was in these pills/how much they took. Hopefully, one of them had a pill that can be tested and the person pushing these pills should be locked up.
  3. Greenport
    Now see, if MDMA was regulated and controlled, and manufactured by legitimate chemists in proper labs with good technique, these girls would probably still be alive. Instead they got their 'ecstasy' from some unknown probably shady character who had used some kind of dangerous toxic substance either in place of MDMA or in the manufacturing procedure, and they are now dead.

    Who's fault is it?
  4. TheBadMan
    Exactly. If governments offered their citizens these drugs and regulated an industry to make sure they were high quality, then less people would probably die. I think that legalizing all drugs would probably lead to more people using them initially (and maybe even, over the long term) but that far less harm would come.

    I think the deaths received a lot of attention because First Nations communities have a lot of attention brought to them for drug abuse and problems related to such (esp. deaths, of course). It's just what is focused on in the (Canadian) media wrt Native Americans.
  5. sandoz1943
    I think that legalizing all drugs would probably lead to more people using them initially (and maybe even, over the long term) but that far less harm would come.

    Studies have shown there is a certian percentage of society that will be addicted to drugs. Estimates vary from 10-15 percent. It has been speculated that this may be due to a biological disorder. If you look at the numbers from the Netherlands. The numbers peek and then drop and level out. Ther is an excellent site with some satistics.

    Social IndicatorComparison YearUSANetherlandsLifetime prevalence of marijuana use (ages 12+) 2001 36.9% 1 17.0% 2 Past month prevalence of marijuana use (ages 12+) 2001 5.4% 1 3.0% 2 Lifetime prevalence of heroin use (ages 12+) 2001 1.4% 1 0.4% 2 Incarceration Rate per 100,000 population 2002 701 3 100 4 Per capita spending on criminal justice system (in Euros) 1998 €379 5 €223 5 Homicide rate per 100,000 population Average 1999-2001 5.56 6 1.51 6

    I believe that the numbers are lower because the "forbidden fruit" factor is gone. You can walk go to Rembrant Park in Amsterdam and see junkies first hand most people would agree they don't want to be "that guy" Seeing junkies up close and personal can be a pretty good deterrent. Obviously the current method isn't working. Like everything else it comes down to the money being made from drugs being illegal. The powers that be would rather line thier pockets. The deaths of a few "drug addicits" are exceptable losses to them. I can't wait to hear the toxicology reports even though this incident will be labeled as death caused by ecstasy no matter what the actual cause may turn out to be. I would almost bet that if this tragic accident turns out not to have been caused by E the followup story either not be covered or will be a small article on the back page.

    sandoz1943 added 0 Minutes and 58 Seconds later...

    Sorry the chart did not come out in my post but the information is shown on the link provided.
  6. Euphoric
    Don't know when or if a full autopsy report will be available (not optimistic), but this piece says traces of MDMA were present, and there were no signs of 'poison'. What do they screen for? Could PMA have been in them?


    [h1]Two Alta. girls dead after suspected ecstasy overdose.[/h1]

    EDMONTON - An Alberta First Nation reacted with anger and grief Wednesday as word spread that two teenage girls who fell ill after taking drugs at a weekend party had died.

    Trinity Bird, 15, died Tuesday night at the Stollery Children's Hospital in Edmonton after slipping into a coma, her family said.

    ``We're not doing OK, but life has to go on,'' the girl's uncle, Dennis Bird, said Wednesday on his way to hospital.

    The second girl, Leah House, 14, died Wednesday, said Dennis Paul, a leader from the community of Paul Band First Nation about 80 kilometres west of Edmonton.

    ``I was notified this morning that Leah was taken off life support and she subsequently passed away,'' said Paul.

    ``I really hope that this passing is not in vain. I hope that justice is served. I hope we find this evil that's plaguing our community.''

    Nine girls took pills they thought were ecstasy Saturday just before a traditional aboriginal round dance. Several hours later, three of them fell ill.

    RCMP said traces of ecstasy were found in their blood, but there were no traces of any poison found.

    ``Medical testing has shown the presence of a chemical substance called MDMA, or what's more commonly known as ecstasy,'' said RCMP Cpl. Wayne Oakes.

    The girls' families put a statement out through the hospital, reading, in part, that they are concerned ``about how these young ladies were able to obtain such a dangerous substance in a supposedly safe environment.''

    Change has to come from within the community, one resident said.

    ``We know who they are. The whole community knows who the drug dealers are, '' a male resident told Global National.

    ``In order for us to get rid of it, we have to put them away. We have to tell who they are.''

    Oakes said two Mounties were at the Paul Band School all day Wednesday talking about illicit drugs.

    The RCMP is asking for the public's help. So far, no arrests have been made.

    Edmonton Journal, Global National
    Canwest News ServiceMarch 25, 2009
  7. Greenport
    They need to test the pills. Certainly somebody must've had at least one extra at some point right? What kind of presses were they? Were they just capsules or off-presses or powder? Are more people going to die as a result of this person peddling his poison?

    Those pills need to be tested to find out whether the toxicity truly came from MDMA or if there is something truly dangerous in these pills which is going to continue to harm people.
  8. chillinwill
    Ecstasy deaths confirmed

    The medical examiner's office confirms the tragic deaths of two teenaged girls from the Paul First Nation were related to the drug ecstasy.

    But Dr. Graham Jones, director of the toxicology lab at the medical examiner's office, says no evidence was found to indicate the drug was tainted.

    He says the findings only show traces of pure ecstasy in the bodies of Trinity Bird, 15, and Leah House, 14.

    The teens took ecstasy at a wedding celebration in March on the aboriginal reserve west of Edmonton. The girls spent two days in critical condition in an Edmonton hospital before they were taken off life support.

    A 16-year-old boy from the Paul First Nation is charged with trafficking.

    He is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 21.

    "We have no evidence at all that anything else was there except for the ecstasy," says Jones. "So, there's no evidence that the drugs were tainted in any way."

    The Canadian Press
    June 11, 2009
    The Edmonton Sun
  9. Motorhead
    mmm Does seem fishy that 3 out of 9 girls would fall ill, 2 of them die, on the same night from what must have been the same batch of pills. Either the pills were extremely potent or someone at the ME's office is lying. I mean didn't they find alcohol or even marijuana in their system. There is a peice to this sad puzzle that hasn't seen the light yet.

    Tragic story regardless.
  10. nomud
    Very sad.MDMA ODs are rare.Few I've heard of were at dance clubs.Usually underlying medical problems.Or severe dehydration.First thought was as mentioned here priorly on this thread was PMA.I've seen a lot of people die in car wrecks,never an OD.
  11. Abrad
    I can't help but wonder what other substances they routinely test for...
  12. derpderp
    A close friend of my brothers passed away the other day from some bad pills, we live in Calgary, AB. They doctors at the Hospital said they also had a girl who was in ECU for a couple of days from pills they think that they both might have consumed, the girl was let out that day and they had to pull the plug on my brothers friend as they concluded he was brain dead, very sad, I feel for his mother.

    It angers me that 1 the Government isn't really doing anything about this, the RCMP unlike the DEA in the USA don't even issue warnings when they find out posinous drugs are being passed around. Even if they wanted to keep drugs illegal they should have very stiff sentencing for anyone caught, manufacturing or selling drugs tested to find posinous adultrates with proof they had prior knowledge to the contaminants. I know the Police won't do it because it's admitting defeat, but it would really help to save lives, as I'm sure that there are people who still sell drugs even when they know they are bad. And second it makes me sad that people will still distrubte drugs that they know are bad, in Vancouver there was some bad Heroin that was going around for weeks killing people, you can't tell me some of the people selling it were not aware it was bad product? What disgusting people.

    I've been trying to find out if there has been anymore reports of bad drugs in Alberta, I do think there is a pretty good chance that some bad pills are being sent around. Be safe people, know your source and don't buy off the street!
  13. freshies
    I don't believe anyone would purposely contaminate a 'batch'. Just doesn't make economical sense, no one would go back to purchase from that person if they knew the product wasn't good. Those same rules apply to any supply and demand model. That being said faulty products are sent out all the time due to lack of quality control, eg faulty car, bad meat, and drugs especially. Just hafta be careful, illicit drugs means no laws on quality control.
  14. cra$h
    What they should do is at least tell us what kind of bombs they were, this way if people are offered that specific pill or something similar, they know to turn it down. And not only that, but the dose they took should be made public as well. If they were legit, semi-clean pills, and they took 15 of em at once, then there's the problem. What this story does is just for shock factor and to confuse the public about the REAL dangers of E. Just a few general details would help dispell 80% of all questions. All this article tells me is how bad these ignorant journalists are.
  15. Frenzal
    [SIZE=-1]There is much to be said in favour of modern journalism. By giving us the opinions of the uneducated, it keeps us in touch with the ignorance of the community.[/SIZE]
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