Report Finds Drugs In Student's System

Toxicology reports released last week show that UNC senior Daniel Walker had cocaine, alcohol and the main ingredient of the drug OxyContin in his system the night he died.

Walker, 20, of 92 Pine Hill Drive in Carrboro died Sept. 7 at his residence. One of Walker's roommates found his body around 10:30 a.m. Officials said there was no evidence of foul play.

Wednesday, the Carrboro Police Department released information regarding Walker's death obtained from the Orange County Medical Examiner's Toxicology Lab.

The toxicology reports state that there was a significant level of cocaine in Walker's system, suggesting recent cocaine use. There also was an elevated level of oxycodone -- the main ingredient in OxyContin -- detected in his system, according to reports. The police press release also states that Walker's blood alcohol level was .10 at the time of his death.

Although some information about Walker's death has been released, the medical examiner's report is not complete and his cause of death is still unknown.

It is still unclear what killed Walker, but examiners have reported that oxycodone -- a strong narcotic pain reliever that has been linked to more than 120 deaths nationwide -- was found in his system.

According to the OxyContin Infocenter Web site, oxycodone is the main active ingredient in OxyContin.

OxyContin tablets are manufactured with a specific time release mechanism meant to release oxycodone over a 12 hour time period, according to the OxyContin Infocenter Web site. The Web site states that if the drug is crushed, the time mechanism is broken and the entire dose of oxycodone is readily released.

While investigating Walker's death, investigators found white powder and a partial tablet of a pill of some sort on his desk, Carrboro Investigator John Lau said in a press conference after the incident. At the conference, Lau also said Walker might have consumed OxyContin.

According to the Food and Drug Administration Web site, an individual should never drink any beverage that contains alcohol while taking OxyContin because of potentially dangerous interactions that can lead to injury or death.

The drug can be lethal if chewed, crushed and snorted or dissolved in water and injected intravenously, according to the site. Officials from the medical examiner's office warned that the preliminary reports do not confirm Walker's cause of death, which will not be released until the medical examiner's report is completed in two to 10 weeks.

The City Editor can be reached

at citydesk@unc.edu.

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