View Full Version : California Man Dies of Drug Overdose

09-19-2004, 12:16 PM
http://www.dextromethorphan.ws/california-...ug-overdose.htm (http://www.dextromethorphan.ws/california-man-polydrug-overdose.htm)

California Man Dies of Drug Overdose

By: Robert F. Golaszewski

(Published Sunday, 19 September 2004)

Erick Mark Myrman on 14 February, 2004 was found dead in his parent's home in Yucaipa, California according to the official San Bernadino County coroner's report. The cause of death is listed as "acute combined alcohol and drug (dextromethorphan, diphenhydramine) toxicity." A contributing cause of death "chronic drug abuse" is also listed. Dextromethorphan (commonly called DXM in scientific literature and by users) is a cough suppressant found in numerous OTC cold and cough medicines sold in the USA. Brands sold which contain just DXM include Robitussin Maximum Strength Cough Syrup, and Dexalone. Diphenhydramine is an antihistamine with anticholinergic properties, which is sold in the US under the brand name Benadryl. DXM at doses much higher than recommended is a very powerful psychedelic drug, which has been used by many people to trip since it was first marketed in the 1960s. Diphenhydramine (and other anticholinergics) at high doses is well documented to produce hallucinations, often indistinguishable from reality. The properties of alcohol are well known, and the blood alcohol concentration found in Erick's blood was 0.15%, which would be well above the legal limit to drive. The levels of DXM and diphenhydramine detected were way above what would be expected with a normal, therapeutic dose. The manner of death listed by the coroner is "probable accident". This means that the coroner was of the opinion that Erick likely took these drugs with recreational intent, and not to commit suicide.

The coroner's report lists no specific mechanism of death. However, a thorough physical autopsy was performed, and nothing particularly unusual was found besides the high doses of drugs. DXM is well documented to produce respiratory depression at high doses. Taking substantial amounts of alcohol along with the DXM would be expected to exacerbate this. As such, most likely the mechanism of death was respiratory depression leading to asphyxiation.

Also detected according to the toxicology report was the OTC pain killer ibuprofen (marketed under the brand name Advil, and other different brands), the prescription antidepressant venlafaxine (marketed under the brand name Effexor), and also temazepam, a prescription benzodiazepine marketed under the brand name Restoril. The primary indication for which temazepam is prescribed for is as a sleeping pill. Other benzodiazepines besides temazepam are Valium (diazepam), Xanax (alprazolam), and other related drugs. As a class of drugs benzodiazepines have long been taken recreationally. It is unknown whether Erick took the temazepam therapeutically or with recreational intent.

According to the toxicology report: "These results would be consistent with an excessive and potentially fatal ingestion of dextromethorphan, diphenhydramine and alcohol by a person also taking venlafaxine, ibuprofen and temazepam." Thus, while the high doses of dextromethorphan, diphenhydramine and alcohol would be adequate to explain the death, it is possible that the venlafaxine, ibuprofen and temazepam which were also ingested somehow contributed to his demise.

One other significant factor is that the coroner's report states: "According to the subject's parents, the subject had a history of being addicted to Robitussin cough syrup. He had been sent to rehabilitation because of this problem earlier in the year." As he died on 14 February, that would mean he had just recently got out of rehab for DXM abuse.

09-19-2004, 04:01 PM
The full results of the toxicology report can be found at:


Because of the formatting, if I cut and pasted it here, it would be unreadable. Besides, I presume y'all have a web browser. ;)

09-19-2004, 04:33 PM
I'm adding the following quotes from the "autopsy protocol" report that might be relevant.

"HISTORY OF DEATH: The history as obtained by the deputy coroner investigating officer is to the effect that the subject was found down, unresponsive, in his bedroom by his mother. A 911 call was made and the responding medical personnel pronounced death at 2134 hours on February 14, 2004.

"According to the subjects parents, the subject had a history of being addicted to Robitussin cough syrup. He had been sent to rehabilitation because of this problem earlier in the year.

"The subject was last seen alive the hight before his death at 2130 hours. At that time he was in his room and seemed to be in a good mood. He had no medical history apart from the above. However, he was apparently on Effexor for "nerves".


"EXTERNAL EXAMINATION: The body is that of an apparently normally developed and well nourished Caucasian make appearing about the stated age of 20 years. The body is not embalmed. The height is 69 inches, the weight 172 pounds."



..."C. Marked green discoloration of the gastric contents in small bowel, (?)related to cough misture or other medication taken."


"CAUSE OF DEATH: Accute combined alcohol and drug (detromethorphan, diphenhydramine) toxicity, minutes. Contributing cause: Chronic drug abuse."


"MANNER OF DEATH: Probable accident."

09-19-2004, 05:51 PM
Liver 29 mg/L

thats from the toxicology report under Diphenhydramine. does he mean 29mg/kg?

09-19-2004, 05:54 PM
32mg/kg of dxm in the liver...

09-19-2004, 06:43 PM
Originally posted by kevmanpa@Sep 19 2004, 05:51 PM

Liver 29 mg/L

thats from the toxicology report under Diphenhydramine. does he mean 29mg/kg?
ACK!!! Dude, I owe you. That was a typo. It is indeed 29 mg/kg, and I have corrected that.

09-19-2004, 07:19 PM
Originally posted by Orphan's Ghost@Sep 19 2004, 05:54 PM
32mg/kg of dxm in the liver...
Yes sir. I doubled checked that with the autopsy report next to me. Please note it would be expected that DXM levels would be higher in the liver than the blood. Subclavian blood levels are listed as 2.4 mg/L.


"In searching medical literature, I found only two cases of death associated
with DXM use, both in Sweden. In one case, a girl was found dead in a
public bathroom with two bottles of 30mg DXM tablets (the number of tablets
is believed to be 50/bottle, but may be 15 or 25). She had previously tried
to commit suicide using a bottle of 50 tablets (this leads me to believe
that she had, in fact, taken 100 tablets, for a total dose of 3000mg).

"The other case involved a 27 year old man, and few details were specified.
In both cases, death was apparently due to inhibition of respiration.
Plasma levels of DXM were 9.2 and 3.3 micrograms per gram (cases 1 and 2);
plasma levels of dextrorphan were 2.9 and 1.5 micrograms per gram. Liver
levels of DXM were about an order of magnitude higher. In both cases, the
ratio of DXM to dextrorphan was about 3 (9)."

3.3 micrograms per gram is equivalent to 3.3 mg/L. 2.4 mg/L is equivalent to 2.4 micrograms per ml. The plasma levels of DXM in this case are about 2/3 that which was fatal in a known case in Sweden. That case in Sweden didn't also involve diphenhydramine and alcohol abuse. Little surprise the DXM levels in the immediate case were fatal.

09-20-2004, 01:49 PM
I can't imagine what he was thinking when we took all that shit at once...oh I should have known...he wasn't thinking.

09-20-2004, 02:43 PM
Originally posted by kuhlxcrunr@Sep 20 2004, 01:49 PM
I can't imagine what he was thinking when we took all that shit at once...oh I should have known...he wasn't thinking.
Hmm... OK, I can't put on my own site what I am about to post here. I have that Mark Twain quote about truth on the home page of dextromethorphan.ws for a reason. However, every now and then I must utter a truth. If I were to end up dead from first popping a handful of Benadryl, then swigging a few bottles of Robo Max, and then chase that with a hefty amount of booze, is there anyone here who would think other than "that rfgdxm dude was such a fucking idiot"? And ignorance is no excuse for this guy. A block from where I live is a cyber-laundromat. Yep, I can suds my duds while surfing the Net there. This guy if he made half an effort could have found a computer connected to the Internet. I dunno of any search engine worth mentioning where my sites don't come up on page 1 for a search on "dextromethorphan". If he knew how to use a mouse, he could have trivially found out why DXM + anticholinergics was dangerous. This guy was just Darwin bait. The truth was out there. He just ignored it.

09-20-2004, 09:46 PM
to let you know in case anyones interested, the only type of dxm use in Yucaipa is minimal if anything at all.. Coricidin has been taken off the shelves and behind the counter due to store policy and not abuse from what I understand, and they have no problems with theft from what people tell me (namley store employees).

I am actually the only user of dxm that used to live in Yucaipa that I know of, this death did come as a bit of a shock especially from this area because of the lack of almost any dxm use.

Apparently no one here is affected by the death, I havnt heard two words about this kid, and the stores have responded graciously if anything.

Two days after you first reported the kid's death, the local sav-on reduced the price of its generic 8oz by one dollar and now carries Dexalone brand gels. (although the dexalone boxes have an obvious security sticker on the front)

09-21-2004, 03:35 PM
What a fucking idiot