Overdoses suspected in the deaths of 4 of 9 students this semester

University of Southern California (USC) has indicated that four of the nine students might have died due to “overdoses”. The school has advised the students to seek help if they have the same problems.

A letter sent to the students of the USC has indicated that four of the nine students who have died this semester are suspected to be as a result of overdoses. This comes amid concerns of the higher number of deaths that have been experienced in the university this year.

4 deaths may have been caused by overdoses

The university prides itself as a provider of a safe community. On average, the number of students that die in a calendar year ranges from 4 to 15. However, this semester, that number has shot up to 9 students in only one semester. This unusual number has caused the university to send two letters in just four days addressing these deaths.

Three of these students died within three days, which started on Friday. USC President Carol Folt and three other officials sent the first letter addressing the rumors that the students might have died as a result of suicide.

Tragic losses from several different causes

The rumors had already started spreading within the campus about what might have caused these students’ deaths. Speculations and theories were being floated all over and the school felt they had a responsibility in dispelling these unfounded rumors.

The first letter urged the students to seek help. It reads in part,

There is a great deal of speculation about the causes of these deaths and most are being attributed to suicide. This is not correct. These tragic losses have resulted from several different causes.

USC officials had also warned the students about opioids and so-called “recreational drugs”,

The effects of alcohol mixed with these drugs can be fatal. In addition to the direct effects of each substance, drugs shared for recreational use can be mixed with other substances to increase its effects, sometimes without a user’s knowledge. The practice is rising and is linked to overdose and death.

University has called on students to be more careful and warned them of the dangers of opioids. They advised students to speak up if they feel they need help. They were advised to contact the Trojans Care 4 Trojans intervention program and seek help.

Opioids, sometimes called narcotics, are medications prescribed by doctors to treat persistent or severe pain. They are used by people with chronic headaches and backaches, by patients recovering from surgery or experiencing severe pain associated with cancer, and by adults and children who have gotten hurt playing sports or who have been seriously injured in falls, auto accidents or other incidents.

How do opioids work?

Opioids attach to proteins called opioid receptors on nerve cells in the brain, spinal cord, gut and other parts of the body. When this happens, the opioids block pain messages sent from the body through the spinal cord to the brain. While they can effectively relieve pain, opioids carry some risks and can be highly addictive. The risk of addiction is especially high when opioids are used to manage chronic pain over a long period of time.

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