The Drug Report

Facts about what can go wrong when people use drugs

  • The Best Drug Info Ever?

    A big part of my inspiration for The Drug Report was Beth Pearce's amazing film, VOICE OF THE VICTIMS: TRUE STORIES OF ECSTASY AND KETAMINE. The film simply lets the victims of drug tragedies tell their stories. It's real life, it's undeniable, and it's incredibly powerful. I'm sure Beth has saved many, many lives, and it is my hope that this blog will do so as well. To learn more about her film, go to Voice Of The Victims.


    A friend of mine likes to say, "You're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts."

    When it comes to drugs, there are lots of opinions out there: Some think drugs are safe and fun, some think they're dangerous and frightening, and many think everything in between.

    But facts are facts, and when someone dies from drugs, or someone is murdered by a person who is on drugs, or is raped by someone who has given them drugs, that's just a fact. Drug users who actively promote drug use rail against these facts, and I expect they'll be commenting regularly on The Drug Report. But they can't change the facts.

Another Stand-Around Drug Death

Posted by Childress on June 8, 2006

A lot of drug deaths are of the stand-around variety.  One person is struggling with ill-effects of drugs and another or others are standing around, doing nothing.

Here's the story of the recent stand-around drug death of a 24-year-old woman in Pennsylvania:

A man who said he delivered cocaine to the home of businessman David Downey testified that the defendant did nothing to help a teenage escort who authorities said died from cocaine poisoning at the home last summer.

"He let her die in his home and didn't help her. And he could have helped her," Derrick Schrandt, 24, testified for the prosecution Thursday in Montgomery County Court.

Schrandt, who has been promised immunity by prosecutors, said he went to Downey's home in Limerick on July 31 to deliver cocaine to the defendant and saw 17-year-old Ashley Burg lying on a sofa.

"She was pale. Her lips were a little blue. She was cold," Schrandt said. "I tapped her on the foot to ask her if she wanted to leave. I didn't get no response."

Schrandt alleged that he pleaded with Downey to call police or an ambulance, but the defendant displayed no concern. "He just asked me if I brought the cocaine," Schrandt said. "He said she was fine, that there was nothing wrong with her."

Under cross-examination by defense attorney Thomas C. Egan III, however, Schrandt acknowledged that he also did nothing to help Burg. He said he was already wanted on a parole violation charge and did not want to get into more trouble.

Burg, of Willingboro, N.J., died from cocaine poisoning late July 31 or early the following day after spending about 24 hours at Downey's home. Her body was found along a road in Northeast Philadelphia.

Downey is charged with drug delivery resulting in death, the equivalent of a third-degree murder charge. He has maintained that the teenager was ill, but alive, when he arranged for two people to take her to a hospital.

A woman who testified that she and her boyfriend left the teenager's body in the woods along a road in Northeast Philadelphia said Downey told them "She's dead," when they arrived at the home.

Dangerously self-centered fools like Downey and Schrandt need to learn that the consequences of not calling the paramedics in situations like this are much worse — even to their selfish selves — than calling.

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