Pubdate: Tue, 28 Apr 2009
Source: National Post (Canada)
Copyright: 2009 Canwest Publishing Inc.
Authors: Elise Stolte, and Laura Drake, Canwest News Service
Bookmark: (Ecstasy)


Overdose Kills Teen; Girl, 14, Took Six Triple-Strength Ecstasy

Cassandra Williams' body was dying, even as the 14-year-old lay in her
hospital bed, hooked up to life support.

An overdose of Ecstasy on Friday night shocked her small body so badly
that her heart stopped beating in the middle of a West Edmonton Mall
underage party. Paramedics restarted it and raced her to hospital, but
it failed again soon after.

As she faded on Saturday afternoon, a nurse turned off the visual
monitor, and her mother sat quietly by her side.

Soon, a nurse said it was over.

"All I said was, 'I know,' " said Angie Eyre, her mother. "They didn't
have to tell me. I could feel it. Her body took over. They let her go
on her own, really."

Another 14-year-old girl who was at Friday night's Rock 'N Ride party,
a monthly youth event at the mall's Galaxyland amusement park, said
drug use there was rampant.

"Security just doesn't realize that pretty much everyone is on
Ecstasy," she said.

Most teens stuff the drug down their shirt or their pants so it is not
found when they enter. The girl said everyone her age who goes to the
mall knows where to go if they want Ecstasy -- and if they don't, they
can learn in five minutes.

"People would come up to you and say, 'Hey, do you want E?'... or you
could go up to anybody -- anybody -- around the area and find out."

Brandon Ferko and Lonnie Powell, both 16, said they were with Cassie
and her friend at a West Edmonton Mall underage party when Cassie's
friend pulled a napkin out of her bra. In it were 12 pink pills of
triple-strength Ecstasy they said they bought while waiting in line.
Each girl took six.

The friend survived. Cassie did not.

Cassandra, or Cassie as her friends called her, was an
independent-minded girl who was into pink and images of skulls.

She was the "eyeliner queen," said her mother, cradling a recent
school photo on Sunday evening. She brushed her thumb against her
daughter's chin.

It was a reshoot. Cassie wasn't satisfied with the first, and Ms. Eyre
stayed up late the day before to help paint the bottom of Cassie's
hair pink.

If Cassie called in sick for school, it was only because she slept in
too late to properly straighten her hair, Ms. Eyre said, smiling.

And they talked about drugs. Just last week, Cassie told her mother
she would never take them.

"What, are you crazy?" Ms. Eyre said her daughter told her. "All that
stuff will wreck my complexion."

"Why she took it, we'll never know," she said on Sunday.

The suspected drug seller was arrested downtown on Saturday

He passed out during the arrest but was in stable condition that

Mall management and staff yesterday expressed their sympathies over
the death of the girl.

"Unfortunately, the drug problem plagues teenagers across the country
and Rock 'N Ride management takes these abuses very seriously," mall
spokeswoman Sheri Clegg said in a news release. "Rock 'NRide
management has been and will continue to be committed to ensuring this
event is as safe as possible."

Recent Ecstasy deaths have left many teens concerned, said a Leduc
mother, Sylvia, whose son, 14, was also at Rock 'N Ride last Friday.

"West Edmonton Mall needs to step up and figure something else out,"
she said. "It's scary, way too scary. Young lives are snuffed out in
an instant."

Thinking of the young victim's mother, she said, "It just sends a pang
through my chest." 
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