Wesleyan campus rocked by student overdoses - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Wesleyan campus rocked by student overdoses

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Eleven students were allegedly sickened by a bad batch of the drug "Molly." (WFSB photo) Eleven students were allegedly sickened by a bad batch of the drug "Molly." (WFSB photo)
(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)
MIDDLETOWN, CT (WFSB) - A drug overdose sent 12 people to the hospital after a party at a prestigious college campus in Connecticut on Saturday night. 

Students told Eyewitness News the incident happened at the Eclectic Society House, which is a co-ed group, located on the Wesleyan University campus in Middletown. School officials said the students took a version of the psychoactive drug “Molly.” 

Police said they responded to multiple calls for help after a series of apparent drug overdoses and it is believed that students may have received a bad batch of the drug.  

In total, 12 people received medical treatment including two visitors to Wesleyan. As of Monday evening, there was one student who remained hospitalized at in Middlesex Hospital. Of the four who remained at Hartford Hospital on Monday, one is being discharged on Monday night while three are still being treated. 

On Monday morning, Eyewitness News learned that the students were in either critical or serious condition, however, an update was not released Monday evening.  

Molly is "a refined and more powerful form of Ecstasy (MDMA)." It is usually taken in pill form and often leads to seizures, high body temperature and delirium all over the course of a few hours.

"I ask all students: Please, please stay away from illegal substances, the use of which can put you in extreme danger. One mistake can change your life forever. If you have friends who are thinking about trying these kinds of drugs, remind them of the dangers. If you are aware of people distributing these substances, please let someone know before more people are hurt," Wesleyan President Michael S. Roth said in a message to students.  

Police are investigating the overdoses with assistance from the Middlesex County State's Attorney's Office and the State of Connecticut Forensics Science Laboratory. They will be trying to determine where the drugs came from and "the extent of the criminal involvement in the case."

"We would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to talk to their family and friends about the dangers of taking illegal narcotics. The drug MDMA has been found in and around the community in the past few years," police said. 

Right now, the university has no plans on hitting the Eclectic Club with any penalties. They see this more as a venue that some of the students attended.

Parents were notified about the incident. Counselors reached out to the general student body on Monday. 

"These drugs can be altered in ways that make them all the more toxic. Take a stand to protect your fellow students," Roth said. 

Mark Neavyn, the director of toxicology of Hartford Hospital, said MDMA is especially dangerous because many times it's laced with other things.

"I think that's part of the problem. When you label something 'Molly' you could be taking anything," Neavyn said. 

While the investigation continues, information about the batch of drugs will help doctors treating those impacted know what they are dealing with. 

Students returned to classes on Monday at Wesleyan campus. 

"People are very jarred by it. One of the dangers of that drug in particular is that oftentimes people don't know exactly what's in it," Zack Kaufman, who is a Wesleyan student, said. 

"I know some of the people that live here and my heart goes out to those affected and it's just not something you want to hear," Derek Sturnman, who is a Wesleyan student, said. 

No arrests have been made, but police said they have several leads. Police added that due to the number of people involved in the case, the investigation will take "some time to complete."

The Middletown Police Department is urging anyone with information to give them a call at 860-638-4000 or by emailing Policeinfo@MiddletownCT.gov. People can leave confidential information at 860-685-2345. 

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