Ohio State Student Drug Overdose Deaths Prompt Harm Reduction

Legacy Healing Center Blog

In May of 2022, two female students from Ohio State University tragically died from drug overdoses. A third female, who was also found to be convulsing, survived. What is so upsetting about this news is that both girls died from a substance neither intended to take. These Ohio State student drug overdose deaths highlight the genuine dangers of fentanyl-laced drugs and that the phenomenon is not restricted to people with continual drug addictions. Legacy Healing Center Ohio explains.

OSU Drug Overdoses Result in Tragedy

On May 4, 2022, Columbus’s first responders arrived at a local duplex when a female called emergency services to report the unresponsiveness of her roommate and the roommate’s friend. A third woman was found to be struggling to breathe while convulsing. Along with the troubling states of these young women, a white substance was found on the counter.1

Tragically, one of the women died early the next morning, and the other passed roughly 14 hours later. The third female luckily made it out alive and was not identified in the press. Autopsies revealed that the two girls died from ingesting fentanyl, an increasingly common occurrence in recent years.¹ Fentanyl is an intensely powerful synthetic opioid and is said to be 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. 

It is believed by authorities that the girls intended to take Adderall, a stimulant popular among college students that feel the need to focus while cramming for exams. It was unknown to the girls that they were taking Adderall laced with fentanyl, which is what resulted in their eventual deaths. This case of Ohio state overdose is an all too devastating reminder of the risks involved with any form of illicit drug use. Regardless of the reasoning, taking a drug that was not prescribed to you by a doctor can have devastating consequences.

Soar Initiative Response

In response to these Ohio state student drug overdose deaths, harm reduction groups have sought to find solutions. The Soar Initiative is one of these organizations whose focus is to reduce the negative consequences of illicit drug use. Harm reduction understands that the drug problem around the country has grown so dire that forcing immediate sobriety on affected individuals can ultimately lead to even worse outcomes. 

In the case of OSU, the soar initiative has developed an app that provides people the ability to report drugs that have been laced.² They also provide fentanyl test strips that make it easier to test for “bad batches,” ensuring that patients who do elect to use these drugs are less likely to fall victim to an overdose. That being said, the best way to avoid the risk of an overdose is to not abuse drugs. If you are struggling to practice this, Legacy is here to support you.

Legacy’s Cincinnati Addiction Rehab Can Help

Our facilities offer a variety of options for those looking to break away from the grasp of addiction. We are proud to offer one of the best detox centers in Ohio, which provides patients the ability to move through the withdrawal process as safely and comfortably as possible. Once this portion of treatment is complete, patients are placed into one of our levels of care, ensuring they receive the appropriate programming for their unique needs. 

To learn more about the programs available at our Cincinnati rehab center, call Legacy at 513-586-4971 today.


  1. The Columbus Dispatch – Autopsy reports confirm two Ohio State students died of accidental fentanyl overdoses
  2. Spectrum News – Ohio State students create app to help prevent fentanyl deaths

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