4 men are sentenced for a death resulting from party drugs
a Laughing Matter
By Josh Kraushaar, Age 18, Annandale, Virginia
In a memorable episode of "Seinfeld," George Constanza slips a mickey in his boss' drink as revenge for getting fired. Needless to say, the results of the sitcom incident are quite amusing and entertaining.
What is not entertaining is the real-life consequences of drugging drinks - especially at clubs and parties. Four Michigan teenagers found this lesson out the hard way, after being convicted and sentenced to jail time for slipping the drug GHB in 15-year-old Samantha Reid's drink last January, leading to her untimely death.
drug with fatal consequences
also known as liquid ecstasy, is a drug becoming increasingly popular
at parties, but can cause fatal consequences. It resembles water, making
it an ideal substance to slip into drinks - giving it the date-rape
Defendant Joshua Cole, 19,
admitted that he put the odorless drug in Reid's drink as a way to "liven
up the party," according to his attorney and didn't intend to harm
anyone. Perhaps his intent was innocent enough.
In small doses, GHB causes
euphoria and a sense of feeling high. Larger doses, however, can be
fatal and cause seizures, hallucinations, and comas. Even if Cole's
intent wasn't malicious, his ignorance exhibited in drugging several
drinks -- leading to a young girl's death -- necessitates the harsh
There is a sense of invincibility
in our generation where drugs are remarkably prevalent and the consequences
of actions are ignored. The 12-member jury in Michigan made the right
decision by convicting Cole and his three buddies of involuntary manslaughter,
giving them time to think about their actions but preventing their behavior
from costing them the rest of their lives.
Even more consequential than the convictions, however, are the thousands of other teenagers could fall prey to similar "club drugs" every day. Nearly 6,000 people have overdosed on GHB and it has been cited in 58 deaths.
Drugs create their own victims
For every Samantha Reid -
an unsuspecting victim of foul play - there are hundreds getting high
on these substances, risking their lives in the process.
Emory University sophomore
Melissa Ross ingested a fatal dose of ecstasy at an Atlanta nightclub
last April. By all accounts, Ross never was much of a "clubber";
in fact, her first experience with illicit drugs occurred on that fateful
There should be a similarly
collective outrage at people who allow drug-abuse victims to ruin themselves
by remaining silent in the face of substance abuse. Cole's misdeed is
unquestionably despicable, but what should be said of the many teens
who watch their friends drug themselves while they idly stand by, not
intervening on their friend's behalf? What should be said of the people
who create the atmosphere of peer pressure, which helped cause Ross's
While Cole's 15-year sentence
was fair to all parties involved, it will unlikely be the panacea for
the epidemic of teenage drug use. Reid is just one person on a long
list of young adults victimized by drugs. Individual responsibility
is necessary in avoiding these drugs, rejecting the need for a "high"
that can cause disastrous consequences.
And that is no laughing matter.
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