Ecstasy death prompts RCMP warning

Last week's tragic death of a young Whistler man who perished after ingesting a quantity of the drug known as Ecstasy this week prompted a local RCMP official to issue a stern warning to those who may be thinking of taking illicit drugs.

"These drugs are made by criminals using methamphetimine and toxic chemicals. Anytime you're taking these drugs, you're taking your life in your hands," Whistler RCMP Staff Sgt. Steve LeClair said on Tuesday (Nov. 17). "People ask me, 'Are there bad drugs out there?' The answer is that they're all bad."

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The apparent drug overdose occurred last Thursday (Nov. 12). Police responded to a call at a Whistler home at approximately 11 a.m., RCMP Sgt. Steve Wright said in a statement.

A 20-year-old male had been found unconscious by friends. When police arrived, Whistler Fire Rescue Service and Emergency Health Services personnel were performing CPR, but failed to revive the victim, who was pronounced dead a short time later at the Whistler Health Care Centre, Wright said.

A second male who was at the same home was hospitalized after he, too, suffered an apparent overdose of MDMA (methylenedioxymethamphetamine). He is expected to make a full recovery, Wright said.

Both men had ingested the drug in powdered form. While police are describing the death as an apparent overdose, RCMP and the B.C. Coroner's Service are investigating. LeClair said the toxicology report should help determine whether the man died from taking too much of the drug or whether the drug may have contained other toxic substance or substances that resulted in the man's death.

"There's no quality control with these drugs. All the person who's making them cares about is about getting their money," LeClair said.

Earlier last week, a 17-year-old Fernie male who had also ingested MDMA in powered form almost died, Wright said, emphasizing that there was no connection between the two incidents.

In addition to the two cases last Thursday, Whistler Health Care Centre officials reported having treated a third person for an apparent overdose of MDMA in the past few days, LeClair said.

"MDMA is part stimulant and part hallucinogen drug, which can cause extreme health effects on the body such as high blood pressure, high body temperature and dangerously high heart rates, to potential lethal levels," the statement said.

"These chemical drugs are very affordable and easily obtained in our communities. The chemical drugs are made in clandestine labs which produce large volumes of caustic and dangerous byproducts which are often dumped into the local environment with potentially devastating consequences."

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