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Second Maryland concertgoer dies of suspected overdose

Source: Reuters - Mon, 4 Aug 2014 04:08 GMT
Author: Reuters
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By Curtis Skinner

Aug 3 (Reuters) - A second person has died of a suspected drug overdose following a Maryland pop and dance music festival that left another dead and more than a dozen hospitalized with drug-related illnesses, police said on Sunday.

The person, a 17-year-old from Woodbridge, Virginia, died at an area hospital following the all-day Mad Decent Block Party in Columbia, about 20 miles (32 km) southwest of Baltimore, the Howard County Police Department said in a statement.

Police did not release the teen's name at his parents' request. The statement did not say when the teen died and police declined to provide further details when reached on Sunday.

On Friday, Tyler Fox Viscardi, 20, of Raleigh, North Carolina, who also attended the concert, died of a suspected drug overdose after being taken to the hospital at around 9 p.m. local time, police said.

Some 20 people from the same event were treated for drug-related symptoms at area hospitals and released, police said.

MDMA, more commonly referred to as Molly or Ecstasy, was the drug used most widely at the event, police said, although toxicology and autopsy reports would be needed before official causes of death could be determined.

The Mad Decent Block Party travels throughout the United States. Investigators said similar circumstances have unfolded at other Mad Decent Block Party events.

"We were shocked and saddened when we heard the news," organizers said in a statement on the event's website. "Our hearts go out to everyone impacted."

Police said they issued 50 under-age drinking citations during the event and made three arrests, including one for possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Molly has made its way into popular culture in recent years, helped by references to it made by entertainers like Madonna, Miley Cyrus and Kanye West.

The drug's dangers have become more clear following a rash of overdoses and deaths at concerts last summer. (Reporting by Curtis Skinner in New York; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Matt Driskill)

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