Teen remains comatose from heroin overdose

A 16-year-old Douglas High School student remained hospitalized Thursday, almost one week after friends found him unconscious from an apparent heroin overdose.

Family members, who are providing daily updates, said they had seen some improvement in the teenager.

The boy's father said in a recorded voice mail Thursday that his son had "done well" on a neurological exam at Renown Regional Medical Center where he was taken by CareFlight on Saturday.

"He had to be sedated a couple of times in the last 24 hours because of high vital signs. Doctors are hopefully speculating that some of this new activity may be because he is getting some healing in his brain," he said. "That's what we're all hoping for."

A breathing tube was to be inserted today in the teen's tracheotomy with a feeding tube placed in his stomach.

"We appreciate all your thoughts and prayers," the father said.

Investigators said that the victim and three male juveniles smoked what they identified as opium but what officials believe was heroin.

Randy Isaacs, 20, was charged with two counts of sales of a controlled substance.

Assistant Douglas County District Attorney Mike McCormick said Thursday believe he sold heroin two times to the victim.

McCormick said the incident remained under investigation and he couldn't release details whether other charges are pending because the boys are juveniles.

"It's very unsettling that this would be going on in our community," McCormick said. "We will prosecute it very aggressively."

Isaacs is in Douglas County Jail on $110,000 bail.

He made a brief appearance in East Fork Justice Court on Wednesday. Judge Jim EnEarl scheduled a hearing Aug. 29 at the request of lawyer Tod Young who made a special appearance for the family.

"We'd like to set this out a little bit for a status conference," Young said. "We don't know all the circumstances."

McCormick said no adults were present in the Chichester Estates residence on Petar when paramedics were summoned at 5 p.m. Saturday.

Authorities believe the 16-year-old smoked the heroin Friday and was found unconscious 16-1/2 hours later.

"He and the other juveniles smoked the heroin thinking it was opium," McCormick said. "Why they call it opium probably is to soften the impact rather than say they are smoking heroin.

"Heroin is an extremely dangerous drug. When people smoke heroin, it's even more dangerous when they inject it."

Sheriff's spokesman Tom Mezzetta said law enforcement has seen an increase in heroin in Douglas County, but the cases usually originated with adults bringing in the substance, not juveniles.

"If we just go from zero heroin cases to two, that's a 200 percent increase," he said. "This tragic incident further highlights the dangers of ingesting controlled

substances and should serve as a warning to other youth in the community.

"One can never be certain as to exactly what chemicals had been used in the manufacture of such illegal substances or how these substances may affect the body and mind," Mezzetta said.


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