Managers at the House of Blues on Lansdowne Street say they're doing everything they can to keep patrons from popping Molly pills, but just in case, they're taking steps to keep overdose victims from dying at electronica shows - as happened at a Zedd concert Aug. 28 - after meetings with both Boston Police drug detectives and drug specialists from the Boston Public Health Commission.
These steps include stationing five-gallon jugs of ice water across the venue and setting up a cooling room stocked with ice to deal with the elevated body temperatures and dehydration Molly overdose victims can suffer. The club is also now hiring a squad of three EMTs - with one to stay on premises at all times, even if the other two are transporting OD victims to local hospitals.
House of Blues officials explained the steps at a Boston Licensing Board hearing on the Aug. 28 incidents, which left one patron dead of an apparent Molly overdose.
Boston Police detectives said they had no evidence that the three victims bought the drugs in the venue, although a detective said it appeared at least one of the victims may have taken pills while inside. The woman who died "had taken the drugs outside the club," a detective said.
Elizabeth Steele, a security manager at the House of Blues, said she responded around 12:45 a.m. to a report of a woman in trouble near a stairway. Steele said the woman was "convulsing on her feet." She brought her and her sister to a stairwell, which was quieter and cooler, and laid her down. "She was completely unresponsive," Steele said. "I tried to ask her questions. She said nothing."
A police detective said that when officers arrived at Beth Israel Hospital in response to reports of three overdoses, they found hospital personnel performing CPR on the woman, but that they were unable to save her.
The other two victims - a woman and a man - survived. The detective said the woman had two pink pills in one of her pockets and a packet of powder in her bra. He said a State Police lab has yet to report an analysis of the powder.
Ralph Martin, another security manager at the club, said he responded to the woman who did survive, around 11 p.m., after getting a report she had fallen. She was dehydrated and her pupils were not dilated - even when he shone a light in them - he said. "Her eyes were also twitchy," he said. He summoned an EMT on detail outside the club, who advised a trip to the hospital. But the woman refused, he said. Then, as he was walking her out, "she started to collapse again," he said. That time, he said, she was put in an ambulance for a ride to Beth Israel.
Club officials say they have worked closely with Boston Police and the Boston Public Health Commisssion to develop training for employees for recognizing Molly use and that posters have gone up around the club warning of its dangers.
Manager Declan Mehigan said this is in addition to the scrutiny he said has already gained the venue a rep as "the House of Rules." He said that night, 133 people were turned away from the door because they appeared pre-soused or otherwise unfit for entrance.