News this weekend that 23 year old Jeff Russ, a 2012 SU grad, died in a Harlem Hospital this weekend, after, his Rochester family was told, taking Ecstasy. He was one of two drug related deaths at the Electronic Zoo Music Festival, 4 others were hospitalized, and the event was cancelled for Sunday because of concerns about drug use there.
Teresa Woolson, a Central New York mother who lost a son to synthetic drugs last year, told us 'Breaks my eart, every time i see a young person"--then she broke down in tears.
Woolson has been campaigning to get synthetic drugs, known under the generic name Molly off store shelves. They're sold legally because dealers can change the formula slightly and keep ahead of drug bans (like for Bath Salts). She's pushing for new laws, being reviewed in the State Legislature Health Committee now, that would make it easier to target 'new' drugs.
The legislature won't act until it returns to session, at the earliest. But Woolson advises 'just don't try it. One try could be fatal.'
Russ was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity at Syracuse University. Members on campus now referred us to their national headquarters, where Mike Dunn told us, by phone, that the fraternity does have programs in place to raise awareness of alcohol and drug abuse, and is about to offer a new one specifically on current drugs. They will send out a visitor to college campuses to talk specifically about abuse awareness.
On a related note, Utica have put out a warning about a new 'designer drug' called Crazy Clown. Read about ithere.