Raleigh man dies at Maryland concert, 'Molly' suspected

A Raleigh man is among two who died at a Maryland concert venue over the weekend from an apparent drug overdose where several others suffered illness due to drugs.
A Raleigh man is among two who died at a Maryland concert venue over the weekend from an apparent drug overdose where several others suffered illness due to drugs.

Howard County police say it will take a few weeks for the medical examiner to come back with a report on exactly what killed 20-year-old Tyler Viscardi.

Viscardi was one of more than 20 people rushed to the hospital after apparent overdoses at the Mad Decent Block Party at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia.

The concert venue operator released a statement that reads in part, "Our hearts go out to the family as they face the unimaginable... We can spend every minute of the day making sense to our children regarding the perils of drugs, but sometimes it's impossible to convince them that this is relevant to their world."

Monday, Viscardi's family released the following statement: "We are devastated by the sudden loss of our beloved Tyler. He was the victim of a terrible mishap. Details are not clear yet, but we know this much. He was attending a music festival in Maryland with some friends. According to his close college friend who was with him, the afternoon was hot and he drank water that was given to him by others who were in the area. We believe that this contained a substance, unbeknownst to him, to which he had a toxic reaction. He was taken to a nearby hospital, but the reaction proved fatal. This tragic accident has taken Tyler from us. He will always be in our hearts."

A 17-year-old, who was in critical condition after an apparent overdose at the event, died Monday. Police say it doesn't appear the men knew each other.

Police said the drug known as "Molly" was prevalent at the event. Police are now working to determine specific types of drugs used, and sources of those drugs.

Substance abuse prevention specialists based in Durham say more young people are using "Molly" because they're getting their hands on prescription drugs which are mixed with MDMA -- commonly known on the street as Ecstasy -- to make "Molly".

"MDMA gives you a euphoric feeling and it can increase your heart rate and increase your blood pressure," Shade Shakur with Partnering For a Drug Free NC said. "Some effects can be seen in some people where it makes you nauseous, vomiting or cold sweating."

Shakur says young people, mainly between the ages of 14 and 25, are using the stimulant that comes in tablet form, and users circulate
"Molly" at raves and concerts like this past weekend's block party in Maryland.

Wanda Boone, who is the founder of another drug abuse prevention program called Together For Resilient Youth says there are signs a parent can look for like dry mouth and irritated skin.

"You'll see young people who are sucking on pacifiers because it does whatever to their mouth," Boone said. "Parents should also look for pick marks on their faces or on their arms."

Boone also says her group is giving out a number of lock boxes in Durham to keep prescription drugs out of the wrong hands.

Click here for more on Together For Resilient Youth.

Click here to learn more about the drug "Molly."

Meanwhile, a funeral mass will be held for Viscardi on Thursday at 10 a.m. at Sacred Heart Cathedral in Raleigh. There will be a gathering following the funeral from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Renaissance Raleigh North Hills Hotel in Raleigh.

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