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Teenagers at a dance apparently overdosed on muscle relaxants

March 1, 1997

WOBURN, Mass. (AP) _ Teenagers at a dance apparently overdosed on muscle relaxants, leaving 14 hospitalized this morning, and 10 of them in critical condition.

Woburn police spokesman Paul Lucero said the youths took the drug Baclofen in the form of small white pills at the Woburn Boys and Girls Club Friday night.

Police arrived in response to a call about a a boy passing out. When rescue crews got to the scene, more teen-agers at the dance fell ill, Patrolman Robert Giannotti said.

``When the police and fire departments got there, they were dropping like flies,″ he said.

Officials at four different hospitals said 10 of the 14 teens were in critical condition. Eight were on respirators.

``We did find some pills in there. We found single pills, under couches, in barrels, on top of Coke machines,″ Police Capt. Bill Magee said.

Tim Carr, who attended the dance, said there were ``a lot of people passing out and vomiting and everything. Then they couldn’t wake them up. They all looked in bad shape.″

The youths, who range in age from 13 to 16, all are students at Kennedy Middle School in Woburn, 9 miles northwest of Boston.

The club had only recently begun working with teen-agers. One of the ways the organization was doing that was through holding the dances, said Edward Doherty, a board member at the boys and girls club.

``We wanted to make it inclusive, for them to have some place go so they’re not out on the streets,″ Doherty said.

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