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March 8, 2012

Memphis Teen Dies of Apparent Drug Overdose

A 19-year-old Memphis resident was found deceased in his apartment on Thursday March 1, the victim of an apparent drug overdose.

According to the Memphis Police Department, Jason E. Forquer was pronounced dead by Scotland County Coroner Ginny Monroe at approximately 4:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon after authorities were notified of an unresponsive resident at the home of Rodney and Jayne Dabney at 202 E. Jefferson Street, across from the Memphis Post Office.

The incident was investigated by the Missouri State Highway Patrol Division of Drug and Crime Control, which released a statement indicating no foul play was suspected in Forquer's death, but the investigation would remain open pending lab results.

Less than a week earlier, officers investigated another drug overdose at the residence that left a Memphis teen hospitalized.

According to court documents, the teenager was taken to the Scotland County Hospital emergency room after allegedly smoking K-2 synthetic marijuana.

A search warrant was executed at 11:10 p.m. on February 24th at the residence. Present at that time were the Dabneys, Forquer and two juveniles.

Forquer was taken into custody on a 24-hour investigative hold after drug paraphernalia and other evidence was allegedly located in his room. He was released on February 25th with charges pending for possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to the United State Justice Department's National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) 2011 report, "the abuse of synthetic cannabinoids and synthetic stimulants-and the increasing availability of the drugs-have emerged as serious problems in the United States over the past few years."

The report indicated that retailers obtain synthetic drugs not specifically scheduled under the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) or state or local legislation from foreign manufacturers and deceptively market them as legitimate items such as incense, plant food, or bath salts.

Authorities note that these new synthetic drugs, which began popping up on the market in 2008, are sold primarily over the Internet and in paraphernalia shops, tobacco and smoke shops, adult stores, convenience stores, and gas stations.

Since then, researches have documented an upward trend in the number of K2 and bath salt related calls to poison control centers as well as emergency room visits and even deaths.

In addition to the arrival of synthetic drugs, local authorities are also battling an increase in prescription drug abuse.

"More and more we are dealing with pills and other medicines that are ending up in the wrong hands," said Police Chief Bill Holland.

Holland indicated his officers are working with the Sheriff's Office, local juvenile authorities, medical professionals as well as school officials to raise awareness of the problems.

The NDIC report indicated that controlled prescription drugs (CPD) are second only to marijuana as far as scope and pervasiveness among drug abusers, particularly among adolescents.

National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) data from 2009 indicates approximately 7 million individuals aged 12 or older were nonmedical users of controlled prescription drugs.

The Justice Department notes that Opioid pain relievers are the most widely misused or abused CPDs.

In 2007 there were 11,528 fatalities in the United States from unintentional opioid overdoses according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


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