Tragedy brings national attention
The deaths lead to the conviction of two teens, the opening of a Narcotics Overdose Prevention Education chapter and a seven-page article in the May issue of Ladies Home Journal titled “The Killer in Your Medicine Cabinet.”
The article, which begins on page 110, tells about the events surrounding the deaths of Stephen Draxler and Alan Hoffman, the intense shock and grief the parents felt, and how Christine Boyd was instrumental in bringing the NOPE Taskforce to Lassen County as a way to bring more awareness about prescription drugs.
Alan’s mother Brenda Hoffman said she liked the article written by Louise Farr and thought it was an honest portrayal.
She said Susanville is a small, nice town, and the article shows prescription drug deaths can happen to anyone, anywhere.
She said Farr came to the area last March and spent about four to five days in the area. Hoffman said Farr to talked people including the Susanville Police Department, Lassen County Probation Department, District Attorney Bob Burns and the Lassen High School guidance counselors.
In the article, Brenda, her husband Rod and Alan’s brother Zach share abut the events leading up to the boys’ deaths and what they felt after they found Alan and Stephen dead.
The article also has comments from local resident Dave Wilson, who was a big part in Draxler’s life.
Farr wrote how, at first, no one knew what caused the boys’ deaths and quoted Susanville Police Department former Detective Ryan Hibbs, who noted there weren’t any signs of foul play, a struggle or forced entry. Hibbs also said there weren’t any plastic bags with residue, medications, pills, pill bottles or alcohol — nothing that led the police to believe the deaths were drug related.
It was also noted the boys were both unknown to local law enforcement.
However, when it became evident the boys may have taken methadone, Hoffman says in the article, she said she had warned Alan about cocaine, marijuana and heroin, but never thought to talk about methadone.
With the story receiving national attention, Hoffman said she hopes it will make people aware of what is going on and that parents will see they need to talk to their children about prescription drugs and to secure any prescription drugs they might have.
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