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Hyponatremia Death
(young female dies from 'water intoxication')
According to several news stories from Boulder and Denver, Colorado, 16 year old Brittney Chambers died January 3rd, 2001, six days after ingesting a single tablet of ecstasy. The Boulder County Coroner reported the cause of death as swelling of the brain caused by drinking large quantities of water which diluted her blood. Chambers' ingestion of MDMA lead to her drinking large quantities of water resulting in hyponatremia (low salt) and the fatal swelling of her brain. The Coroner reportedly found only mdma in her system, no alcohol, and no contaminants.

Rocky Mountain News has a good writeup of the death report. Other media stories of the death were carried by The Daily Camera ( and 9 News (

MG writes:
In a follow-up story related to the recent death of the 16-year old girl in Boulder, some high-school student are criticizing the DARE program for providing insufficient information about drugs. Some quotes from one student:
"They've done a lot of educating, but they're more trying to
tell you not to, instead of why not," she said.

That's how she described the Drug Abuse Resistance Education,
or DARE, program.

"It was just, 'Don't do this, it's bad,'" she said about the
popular program designed for fifth-graders.

"That just got me to know what's out there. It makes you want
to try it. You need to know what could happen to you, that
people can have different reactions."

In response, the legal system charged three people with drug-related crimes. This, despite that fact that this case is the first of its kind in the state, and despite the fact that there are many times as many alcohol and tobacco related deaths during the same time period. I suspect the vigor with which they prosecuted these cases comes because the girl was young.

The friend convicted of arranging the sale of Ecstasy which resulted in Brittney Chambers's death was sentenced (June 1, 2001) to 1 year of probation and 100 hours of community service. Three other friends were convicted of misdemeanors for their role in buying the Ecstasy for Brittney as a birthday present. Two others, the 18 yr old woman who sold the ecstasy, and her 20 yr old husband who originally acquired the material, have yet to be sentenced.

"Girl Died from Water Intoxication After Taking Ecstasy", KUSA-TV, - Feb 9, 2001
"Probation for Ecstasy Broker", The Daily Camera, - June 1, 2001