First CMC student death in February ruled an accidental drug overdose, medical examiner says

The cause of death has been determined for one of the Claremont McKenna College students who died in February. (Courtesy: Craig Stanfill via Wikimedia Commons)

CW: Drug abuse, student death

The first Claremont McKenna College student death in February was ruled an accidental drug overdose, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office reported.

Jeremy Peterson, who entered with the class of 2018 but was still taking classes at CMC in spring 2019, died of “the combined effects of fentanyl intoxication and sequelae of recent cocaine use,” the coroner’s office said on its website.

Peterson, 22, was found dead in his dorm room Feb. 19 in Phillips Hall at CMC, TSL previously reported. He was from Princeton, New Jersey.

An on-call therapist through Monsour is reachable 24/7 at 909-621-8202. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s national helpline can provide referrals to treatment and support services for substance abuse at 800-662-4357.

CMC did not provide a comment on the cause of death.

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that’s stronger than heroin, is frequently used to treat severe pain. It’s often manufactured illegally, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Fentanyl overdoses have risen dramatically in recent years, according to the CDC, part of a nationwide opioid epidemic.

Campus Safety officers started carrying doses of opioid reversal medication Naloxone in November 2018, and Pitzer College’s Student Senate advanced legislation to purchase opioid overdose reversal medication Naloxone for its campus last spring, in response to the national opioid epidemic.

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