Officials think some of the deaths of USC students over the last few months are the result of drug overdoses, according to sources familiar with the matter.
Nine students have died since Aug. 24 and the cause of death for most has not been officially determined. But the sources, who spoke on the condition on anonymity because they were not authorized to comment, said drug use is under investigation in some of those cases.
The investigators are seeking to determine whether any of the student deaths are connected with tainted drugs — drugs touted as one thing but which actually contain more potent narcotics. The sources stressed that nothing has been firmly determined, however. Autopsies and toxicology tests are still pending in a number of the deaths, and university officials have asked Los Angeles police to assist in the cases.
In a letter sent to students just after 10 p.m. Tuesday, top USC officials warned against the dangers of opioid use and the mixture of drugs with other substances. The statement suggests that tainted drugs may be the cause in at least some of the deaths. According to a source, the concern is something officials are investigating.
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