Ohio State University reported three drug overdose cases at an off-campus house on Thursday. While one student has died and one is in critical condition, the third has just been released from the hospital. OSU President Kristina Johnson broke the news to the student body in a university-wide letter without giving out the identities of the victims.
"We are grieving and extend our deepest sympathies to the students' family and friends, out of respect for them during this extremely difficult time, we are not sharing further personal information," Johnson said.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, the incident occurred on the first block of East Lane Avenue, Wednesday night, when a call was made to the emergency services reporting that three students had overdosed. The Columbus Fire medics immediately responded and arrived at the scene. Two victims were hospitalized in critical condition, and another in stable condition.
Medical professionals later confirmed that one student had passed away and another remains in the critical state. OSU made no announcements regarding the cause of death of the student but Johnson cautioned the students against the dangers of using drugs due to a surge in sales of contaminated drugs.
"It is critical for everyone's safety to be aware of the possibility of contaminated drugs in our community," she said in the letter. "While we strongly discourage any kind of drug misuse, if you, or someone you know, may choose to experiment with drugs," she added. The students were advised to purchase a Naloxone kit or fentanyl test strips from the Wilce Student Health Services on Millikin Road in Columbus.
On Thursday, the Columbus Public Health had issued a warning on fake Adderall pills, composed of deadly opioid fentanyl, leading to an alarming rise in overdoses and hospitalizations across the OSU campus area. According to Jeff Klingler, the president and CEO of the Central Hospital Ohio Council. "Fentanyl causes 90% of overdose deaths in central Ohio," the Daily Mail reported.
Adderall is a prescription drug and a 'pick-me-up' mostly used in treatments of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), among other uses. According to a National Center for Health Research study, 33% of all college students abuse Adderall at least once in their college years.
The drug is often referred to as a "study drug" because students find it easy to study or improve their grades with the help of a stimulant. According to US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 106,854 drug overdose deaths recorded in 2021 from January to November.
Melissa Shrivers, OSU's senior vice president for student life, asked the students to only purchase prescription medications from a pharmacy, as there is a high possibility of the drugs being fake and tainted with harmful chemicals if they are bought from the streets.
The Columbus Dispatch reported that the police are currently investigating the incident and might release more details when substantial evidence is gathered.