Death of two Loyola students linked to overdoses

NEW ORLEANS -- Officials are set to give a presentation about opioids at Loyola University after news that two students were linked to overdose deaths was announced Thursday afternoon.

The presentation, which was already planned before the cause of the student deaths were announced, brings a national epidemic closer to home for many.

According to the university newspaper, The Maroon, parish coroner Jeffrey Rouse confirmed Kyra Koman and Juliano Mastroianni died after taking heroin or opiates.

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A former spokesman for Rouse told The Maroon that Koman, a freshman music major, died of an accidental overdose of multiple substances, including heroin and cocaine.

The 19-year-old was found unresponsive in the Biever Hall dorm Feb 13.

Almost a month later, Mastroianni, an international business sophomore, was found unresponsive in his dorm room April 14. Officials reported he died of a heroin overdose.

Rouse and other officials, including keynote speaker U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite, will show a documentary on drug abuse as part of National Heroin and Opioid Awareness Week.

“In Southeast Louisiana, opioid-related overdose deaths have skyrocketed in the past few years,” U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite stated via a Loyola University press release. “In 2015 alone, Jefferson, Orleans, and St. Tammany Parishes collectively suffered 127 heroin overdose deaths. By comparison, in 2009, there were 10 such fatalities statewide."

The event will be free and open to the public. It begins at 7 p.m. in Nunemaker Auditorium, located in Monroe Hall, 6363 St. Charles Ave. Free parking will be available. For more information click here.

(© 2016 WWL)


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