Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Bellevue teen died of drug overdose

Coroner attributes death to prescription antidepressant


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

William Andrew Glahn

The Blaine County coroner has determined that a Bellevue teenager died in May from an overdose of the prescription antidepressant amitriptyline.

Coroner Russ Mikel received the toxicology test results late last week in the death of 18-year-old William Andrew Glahn, who was a junior at the Silver Creek Alternative School in Hailey.

Mikel described the drug as a "really strong" antidepressant that "turns into a huge sedative when you get too much in your system."

Glahn was found dead shortly before 8 a.m. on May 21 at his home on Sixth Street in Bellevue. A friend of Glahn, identified by police as 18-year-old Riley Andrada, was staying at the home at the time and also became ill later that morning. He was transported to St. Luke's Wood River Medical Center and released the following day. The cause of Andrada's illness was not available.

Investigators detected low levels of carbon monoxide in the home from a defective gas water heater but were skeptical that the gas caused Glahn's death because neither emergency responders nor anyone else in the home became ill.

Amitriptyline is sold under the brand names of Vanatrip, Elavil and Endep. It is most commonly prescribed for depression but is also sometimes used for pain relief, particularly for migraine headaches.

Bellevue Marshal Ron Taylor said neither Glahn nor Andrada had prescriptions for the drug and his investigation is now aimed at determining how they got the medicine.

"I've got an idea where it came from," Taylor said. "They had to get the medicine somewhere, and that's what I'm going to check out."

Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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