Teen Dies with Toxic Mix of Aspirin


Friday, July 12, 1996
Section: Local
Page: 2B

By: By KATHERINE CONRAD, Mercury News Staff Writer

A 16-year-old Mountain View boy died early Thursday morning after
swallowing a toxic mix of at least six painkillers, 10 aspirin and then
washing it all down with beer.

Almost immediately, he fell into a coma for 11 days, according to
Mountain View police Lt. Patrick Langner.

The teen’s friends said he took the drugs after complaining of a
headache and back pain June 29. After swallowing the deadly mixture, he
said he felt ill and went to the bathroom. There he began convulsing and
then turned blue. His friends called 911 and began administering CPR, but
the boy never regained consciousness.

One of the boy’s friends mixed herself the same toxic cocktail, but
didn’t take quite as many pills, Langner said. She was treated for nausea
and dizziness and released from El Camino Hospital.

Langner identified the painkiller the teens took as propoxyphene, from
which Darvon is derived.

Paula Hekimian of the San Mateo County Drug and Alcohol Program said
that this type of incident happens often with teen-agers.

”It’s all part and parcel of kids believing they are invincible and
not knowing the ramifications of mixing different substances. These kids
think nothing will kill them,” Hekimian said.

She urged parents to talk to their children about drugs.

”This is a nightmare that could have happened to anybody’s child.
These kids come from good families. They look like you, they look like
me, these are not quote, unquote bad kids,” she said. ”We’re not seeing
an upswing in overdose deaths, but it’s still happening.”

Langner said police will investigate the case further.


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