Drug Overdoses at Music Festival Kill 1, Hospitalizes Dozens

Jul 1, 2013 2:27pm

One person died and dozens more were hospitalized over the weekend after apparently overdosing on drugs at a Washington State music festival.

The overdoses happened at the Paradiso Festival, a two-day electronic music event held at the Gorge Amphitheater in George, Wash.  Michele Wurl, spokeswoman for Quincy Valley Medical Center, said doctors at the facility treated more than 40 people for drug and alcohol related issues in the emergency room over the weekend.

Officials said someone was selling a drug promoted as ecstasy, but it was actually Molly, a powerful form of the synthetic club drug, which often includes traces of other stimulants, ABC News’ Seattle affiliate KOMO reported.

Many of the patients were treated at Quincy Valley Medical Center, while seven of the most serious, including a person who later died, were taken to Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee, a hospital spokeswoman said.

At least three people remained in serious but stable condition today, according to the hospital.

“It is not uncommon on a busy concert weekend. It seems this year the numbers are increasing in intensity,” Wurl said. “It’s something we plan for and we gear up for.”

Calls to the Gorge Amphitheater were not immediately returned.

Molly “has seen a surge in interest in the past few years, being celebrated frequently by popular music artists,” according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

While the drug produces bursts of energy and euphoria, it can also alter body temperature, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and cause confusion, depression and sleep problems.

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(Image Credit: Joshua Lewis/KOMO News)

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