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Texas Town Has Another Heroin Death

February 10, 1998

DALLAS (AP) _ A 17-year-old girl was taken off life support and died Monday, the latest victim in a heroin outbreak that has struck the prosperous suburb of Plano just north of here.

Natacha Marie Campbell passed out Saturday following a party where she took a mixture of heroin and cocaine, also called a ``speedball.″ Police would not say whether she inhaled or injected the drugs.

Inhaled heroin has been blamed for the deaths of 11 young people from Plano since November 1996.

Kept alive on a respirator, she was taken off because her prognosis for recovery was not good.

``The percentages are low, like slim to none,″ said Miss Campbell’s brother, Lance Campbell, 23.

Police are worried that such overdoses may be on the rise because of heroin that can be inhaled. They believe many people who would normally shy away from injecting the drug are not so squeamish about ingesting it through the nose, even though that can be just as dangerous.

Miss Campbell lost consciousness while a friend was driving her home from a party. She was pronounced dead Monday afternoon.

The friend, Kelly Marie Smith, 18, was arrested later on a charge of possession of drug paraphernalia and released on $425 bail.

Miss Campbell recently dropped out of Plano Senior High School and had been working various part-time jobs.

Of the 11 others who have died of heroin overdoses since 1996, two were friends of Miss Campbell. It is not known if the other Plano overdose deaths resulted from heroin in combination with cocaine.

Eight teen-agers also committed suicide in Plano during an 18-month span beginning in February 1983. Some of the youths knew each other, but not all of the suicides were linked.

Overdoses of cocaine and heroin killed actors John Belushi in 1982 and River Phoenix in 1993.

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