Chemical in fatal drug overdose identified

Authorities have identified the chemical in a synthetic drug that caused the overdose death of a West Virginia woman in Winchester early Saturday morning.

The state forensics laboratory identified the chemical as Flubromazolam, an ingredient that produces effects found in sedatives and muscle relaxants.

Special Agent Jay Perry of the Virginia State Police said the Flubromazolam was found in a psychedelic drug known as 25I that had been applied to a roll of Smarties candies.

“It looks like most of this stuff is coming out of the United Kingdom, and it can be purchased online, Perry said of the drug-laced candies. “That’s where this was purchased.”

The victim, Bailey Huffman, 20, was found unconscious Sept. 22 by Winchester police who were investigating a report of a drug overdose in the 400 block of Loudoun Street.

Investigators concluded that Huffman’s case differed from those of other overdoses, most of which have involved heroin and other opiates.

Users of drugs containing Flubromazolam run a high risk of death from respiratory depression when it is used with opiates or alcohol.

“When they mix it with other things like opiates or central nervous system depressants, the effects are multiplied, and they can overdose without knowing what they’re doing,” Perry said of those using 25I.

Perry said authorities are awaiting a blood toxicology report on Huffman to learn whether she had taken other drugs or consumed alcohol that mixed with the 25I she had ingested.

“This is something we haven’t seen before in this area,” Perry said of the drug-laced candies, adding, “We hope we don’t see it anymore.”

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com