In an indication of just how strong the drugs were that likely killed comedian Fuquan Johnson and two other people last week, the one person who survived the overdoses is having problems staying consistently “lucid” following hospitalization, her mother said.
Comedian Kate Quigley, who suffered an overdose while using the same batch of fentanyl-laced cocaine that officials suspect led to the overdose deaths of Johnson and the two other people at a party in Los Angeles on Friday, is “stable” but “still isn’t lucid for more than a moment at a time,” her mother, Fran Wyles, wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday.
“Lucid” is defined by Merriam Webster as “very clear and easy to understand” and “able to think clearly.”
Wyles suggested that Quigley is neither of the two. In fact, Quigley was not even able to post to social media on her own, her mother added, suggesting the level of incapacitation her daughter was experiencing following the apparent drug overdose.
The official cause of Johnson’s death was not immediately released.
The Facebook post was published one day before actor Michael K. Williams was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment following a suspected drug overdose. While it was unclear what exact drugs Williams was allegedly taking before he died, the New York Post, citing sources, reported that authorities believed it was heroin, an opioid that medical experts have determined can be deadly with and without being laced with fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that is exponentially stronger than morphine.
Quigley is 39, Johnson was 43 and Williams was 54.
Making a full recovery from a drug overdose — or even a partial one — takes an undetermined amount of time that is based on several factors, including which drug was used, the dosage(s) and how it was used (snorting, intravenously, smoking, etc.) — variables that were not immediately announced from the cases in question.
It goes without saying, but celebrities aren’t the only people dying from drug overdoses — especially cocaine with traces of fentanyl. In August, six people died within three days in Long Island after a batch of cocaine laced with fentanyl began to circulate in some of the island’s small towns. They were all younger than 40-years-old. Lincoln and Omaha Nebraska reported 21 overdoses from cocaine-laced fentanyl in just six days.
Warnings have been issued all over the country about spikes in overdoses due to this lethal combination.
Some researchers believe many dealers are creating these drug cocktails in their homes; They are not licensed or trained in using the extremely dangerous drugs and accidents happen. White powders are mixed with white powders and neither the dealer nor the consumer knows what they’re getting. Other researchers suspect dealers may also be unknowingly buying the cocaine already laced. This scenario is harder to monitor due to the black market’s ability to hide their networks.
“We’re seeing the usual cocaine users,” said Dina Kharieh, co-director of programs at St. Ann’s Corner of Harm Reduction in the Bronx during an interview with NPR. “We’re also seeing heroin users who probably don’t have access to their usual supply, maybe due to COVID.”