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View Full Version : "It hurt me more than anything ever before"

03-30-2004, 03:26 PM
When Austen Eriksen wanted a buddy to cruise with around Oakland or someone to share his problems with, he knew he could turn to his friend Eric Richardson.

The two Oakland High School teen-agers were even together Feb. 4-5 on what would be Richardson's last living moments and what Eriksen hoped at the time would be his last. But Eriksen somehow survived after both teen-agers each swallowed about 15 capsules filled with the drug dextromethorphan.

When Eriksen recovered and was told Richardson had died, he was overwhelmed.

"It hurt me more than anything ever before," Eriksen said.

Now, Eriksen said the problems that drove him to suicide seem small compared to Richardson's death.

"I am sorry about what happened," Eriksen said.

During an inquest last week into Richardson's death Feb. 5, it was determined Richardson committed suicide by overdosing on the legal drug dextromethorphan. Although the drug is found in several brands of over-the-counter cough remedies, Eriksen and Richardson ingested the drug in its pure form Eriksen said he purchased from the Internet.

Eriksen and Richardson became friends when Eriksen moved with his family to Oakland in 1996. Eriksen said Richardson, who he described as his best friend, was one of the few people who befriended him at the time and the two remained close until Richardson's death.

"We hung out and we cruised around," Eriksen said. "We were just really good friends and we could talk to each other."

Eriksen said he and Richardson shared the same problems and, according to Eriksen, the topic of suicide came up one day in conversation.

Kathy Eriksen, Austen's mother, said she didn't understand how serious her son's problems were the last couple of months because the two friends confided so much in each other. Austen would hang out with Richardson, air his problems with him and then didn't talk to her, Kathy Eriksen said.

Sometimes, it is hard for teens to talk to their parents so they talk to their peers, said Linda Weiss, director of the Regional Behavioral Health Network. Weiss encourages teen-agers to talk to one another, but she cautioned that if the teen-agers are having the same problems, they need to find an adult to talk to such as a parent, a coach, a teacher or a minister.

"Two people who are drowning can tell each other how they feel, but they can't help each other," Weiss said.

According to Eriksen, both he and Richardson had been depressed for some time. On Feb. 4, before school started, Eriksen said Richardson told him he was planning to kill himself because a number of things were bothering him.

"I knew he was depressed for a while and he knew the same about me," Eriksen said. "After hearing what he had told me, I then told him I was feeling the same way. Talking for a little longer, we decided we were going to kill ourselves that night."

"Kids just want the pain to end," Weiss said. "They think suicide is a way to deal with pain and that the pain will go away. The reason teens believe this is they don't have the life experiences to know things will get better. Because of life experience, adults know it won't always hurt this way. A lot of times teens don't have that perspective. This might be the first time teens hurt this bad."

According to Eriksen, Richardson suggested using a gun, but Eriksen suggested pills.

About a week before Richardson's suicide and Eriksen's attempted suicide, Eriksen had discovered and purchased the legal drug dextromethorphan in its pure powder form over the Internet and had tried several capsules to get high. Although investigators reported during Richardson's inquest that Eriksen used a school computer to purchase the dextromethorphan, Eriksen denies this.

While at school on Feb. 4, Richardson and Eriksen told people there was not going to be any school Feb. 5.

"Both of us were thinking that school would be canceled because of two teen suicides," Eriksen said.

Throughout the day, both boys talked about suicide and Richardson questioned whether Eriksen would really kill himself, according to Eriksen.

"There was no doubt in my mind that I would kill myself, but I just had to keep reassuring him that I wouldn't back out," Eriksen said.

Eriksen wrote a suicide letter, placed it in an envelope, gave it to his girlfriend and told her not to open it until the morning of Feb. 5. "I made it sound like it was a surprise so she wouldn't have any reason to open it sooner," Eriksen said.

During Richardson's inquest last week, deputies from the Douglas County sheriff's office and investigators from the state police corroborated Eriksen's account that Richardson and Eriksen had told people there wouldn't be any school and that Eriksen had left a suicide note.

Richardson arrived at Eriksen's house and Richardson questioned whether the capsules of dextromethorphan would work, Eriksen said. "I reassured him it would," Eriksen said.

Because it was a secluded area, the two decided to kill themselves at the observatory at Walnut Point State Park near Oakland. They parked the truck and locked the doors making it more difficult for others to get into the truck, Eriksen said.

"Three, six, nine, 12, 15, we counted while we swallowed the pills," Eriksen said. "We then curled up next to the side of our doors, hoping to fall into a sleep. I looked at Eric one last time, then closed my eyes."

The next thing Eriksen remembers was waking up in a hospital. Douglas County Coroner Joe Victor said he believes Eriksen survived because he vomitted some of the drug out of his system.

"The hardest thing I ever had to deal with I thought was fitting in, until I woke up in the hospital to find out that I had survived, but Eric was dead," Eriksen said.

Many people blame him for Richardson's death, Eriksen said.

"They hate me for it," Eriksen said. "They are blaming me because I gave him the capsules. They don't realize I was in the same state of mind he was."

Eriksen is completing his senior year at home. His mother said adults have come up to him accusing him of killing Richardson and some students at Oakland High School tried getting a petition to keep him from attending school.

"Austen would like to go back to school, but he can't," said Kathy Eriksen. "I think they blame Austen. We are all sorry that this happened."

The Eriksens said some people have been supportive and they appreciate that.

"People from other towns ask me how I am doing and tell me that it's not my fault," Eriksen said. "They have been really comforting."

Contact Krista Lewin at [email protected] or 238-6858.

Story Here: http://www.jg-tc.com/articles/2004/03/30/n...news/news01.txt (http://www.jg-tc.com/articles/2004/03/30/news/news01.txt)

03-30-2004, 09:16 PM
http://www.dextroverse.org/forums/index.ph...=ST&f=15&t=8099 (http://www.dextroverse.org/forums/index.php?act=ST&f=15&t=8099)

Mentioned in an earlier thread here.

Also, note this:

"About a week before Richardson's suicide and Eriksen's attempted suicide, Eriksen had discovered and purchased the legal drug dextromethorphan in its pure powder form over the Internet and had tried several capsules to get high."

From the above, this indicates that these 2 kids weren't DXM abusers. Apparently they somehow found out about it on the Internet, and persumably noticed that there were documented cases of successful suicides by taking lots of DXM. My best guess would be from my site, as IIRC correctly I have up documentation of 2 intentional suicides that used DXM. Summer Rose Pray, and the medical journal article mentioned in the DXM FAQ about an earlier suicide using just DXM in Sweden.

Rest in peace.

03-31-2004, 06:01 PM
they both took 15 capsules of pure dxm power, how many mg per cap was it??

assuming they were 700mg caps thats 10500mg of pure dxm, how the hell did one of them survive?

that kid is extremely lucky

04-01-2004, 02:14 AM
hello everyone

i would just like to clearly state that i am indeed austen eriksen's brother

and thank you for posting the article for all the dextroverse to see and take in as knowledge

marc eriksen

p.s. feel free to message me and ask me questions related to the incident

04-01-2004, 03:41 AM
dexaholic, please tell us what, if any experience austin had with dxm before his suicide attempt. it saddens me very much to hear of young people suffering so badly that they need to take such extreme measures, so permanent. I would like to talk to austin if that is possible and if he is at all interested. please forward my email address to him [email protected]

and to any of the members here that are having problems in life which have made you contemplate suicide, I emplore you to PLEASE come talk with me. I am a very good listener and not at all judgemental, I feel that what I have to offer may help one who is in pain. I have lived a hard life for 30 years, but I don't let life break me down, I kick it in it's ass with my head up and move forward. I can be the one of the coolest adults to have on your side, so everyone please understand that my door is always open and I am here for you all.


R.I.P. Eric Richardson

04-01-2004, 02:36 PM
First i'd like to send my sypathies to the family and friends of everyone envolved

Does anyone know how much Dex was in each capsule? I don't think it's fair to assume they were 700mg caps.