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Animas High School student dies of suspected drug overdose; two others hospitalized

Durango Police Department says painkillers might have been laced with fentanyl
An Animas High School student died and two others were hospitalized after a suspected drug overdose on Friday. (Associated Press file)

An Animas High School student died Friday as the result of a suspected drug overdose, and two other students were hospitalized, according to a news release posted Saturday on the city of Durango’s and Durango Police Department’s Facebook pages.

It is believed the students were smoking Percocet, an opioid-based painkiller commonly known as oxycodone. It is possible the drug was laced with fentanyl, according to the news release.

Durango police Chief Bob Brammer clarified Monday there was more than one incident: Two students were in the county, one of whom died and the other who was hospitalized; and the third student was in the city of Durango, who was hospitalized.

Names of the students involved were not released. The two students who were hospitalized are expected to recover.

La Plata County Coroner Jann Smith said the student’s death is being treated as a possible overdose because the student was unresponsive when found Friday before being taken to the hospital. An autopsy was performed Monday, and toxicology results will help confirm whether the student’s death was an overdose, she said.

“Our hearts go out to the family for their loss,” Brammer said in the release. “We do everything we can to keep kids safe, but during the holidays we often see an increase in cases involving drugs and alcohol. We would like to remind everyone to check on their loved ones, especially their students.”

The police department encourages parents and students who are concerned for their safety or the safety of others to contact Safe2Tell Colorado. The group’s goal is to help educate young people and school staff members about how they can play a role in prevention, while providing a tangible and direct way to report anonymously.

njohnson@durangoherald.com



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