Fuquan Johnson fentanyl overdose death using cocaine. Two others also killed while fourth person, comedian, Kate Quigley in critical condition. Latest casualties from fentanyl infiltrating illicit drugs.
Fuquan Johnson, writer for ‘Comedy Parlour Live,’ died after overdosing at a Venice home Friday night, according to TMZ. Two other victims were pronounced dead at the scene, the outlet said.
Comedian and model Kate Quigley was hospitalized in critical condition, according to the report.
The medical examiner will officially determine what killed Johnson, 42, and the other unnamed victims, but sources tell the outlet all four people were ingesting coke tainted with the super powerful opioid.
Johnson was a frequent performer on the Los Angeles comedy circuit, performing at various clubs around town for the last 10 years. The entertainer also appeared in TRUTV’s Laff Mobb’s Laff Tracks as well as All Def Digital’s website in several web series, some of which he wrote.
Quigley, who once dated Hootie & The Blowfish lead singer Darius Rucker, has appeared in several television shows including The Office, Star Trek: Hidden Frontier, and Guber.
At this point, it’s unclear who supplied the drugs that led to the overdoses and whether any charges would be placed.
Fentanyl a synthetic painkiller that is up 100 times more potent than heroin, was developed to treat intense pain from ailments like cancer but has increasingly been sold illicitly and mixed with other drugs to unwitting users.
The illicit drug has been a factor in the deaths of Prince, Mac Miller and Tom Petty.
In 2019, fentanyl was involved in more than two-thirds of all New York City drug overdoses, data showed. Social media users have been warning of tainted coke making the rounds in the city’s party scene this spring and summer.
Police and prosecutors believe that recent overdoses highlight a shift in the street-drug marketplace, created by the same pandemic-linked issues affecting global supply chains and hiking up prices.
An estimated record high of 93,331 Americans died of overdoses in 2020, according to statistics released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Per the toxicology on my friend who OD’d 3 weeks ago, no heroin, just coke and #fentanyl.
That’s right, they’re cutting coke with fentanyl.
So at least here in northeast Ohio, if you think doing just a little blow is no big deal…
— 2112togo (@TGristedes) September 4, 2021
Increased proliferation of fentanyl
The figure represented the sharpest annual increase in overdose deaths in at least three decades, with deaths up 30 percent on the estimated 72,151 recorded in 2019.
Data shows that the surge in deaths in 2020 was driven largely by the proliferation of fentanyl. The use of the drug has spread across the nation in the last few years and is now frequently found mixed into other widely used illegal substances, such as cocaine, meth, and counterfeit opioids to increase the potency of said drugs– often unbeknown to the user.
The weekend deaths in Los Angeles follow that of six residents on Long Island, NY dying from what authorities said were overdoses of fentanyl-laced cocaine.
‘The same market forces that are causing shortages in everyday products are also putting pressures on the drug markets,’ said Timothy D. Sini, the Suffolk County district attorney. ‘All the while we have seen demand skyrocketing from users because of the impact the pandemic has had on them.’