Medical Examiner Rules Jovin Raethz Died from Combo of GHB, Cocaine and Alcohol

Jovin Kale Raethz
Jovin Kale Raethz
The New York City medical examiner’s office has determined that the death of West Hollywood’s Jovin Raethz on March 17 was caused by his use of cocaine, Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid (GHB) and alcohol.

Raethz’s death while visiting New York City sparked at outcry among his many friends in West Hollywood and among those concerned about the use of drugs such as GHB in the city’s large gay community. West Hollywood City Councilmember John Duran is hosting a public forum on the use of GHB and methamphetamine on May 7 at West Hollywood Park Auditorium.

Raethz, 37, a fitness trainer, was found in the 19th Street apartment in Chelsea of Shaun Murphy, 34, who also was dead. Investigators found GHB in the apartment and a toxicology study was initiated to determine the actual cause of death. Today’s statement from the medical examiner’s office said it was “a result of acute intoxication due to the combined effects of Gamma-Hydroxybutyric Acid, cocaine and alcohol.

Many friends of Raethz who posted comments on WEHOville said that he was not a chronic drug user. However GHB is known to be lethal when a certain dosage level of it is combined with alcohol or other drugs. That level is nearly impossible to determine, however, given that the GHB used recreationally generally comes from illicit drug dealers.

Duran’s forum on GHB and methamphetamine, dubbed “Gina and Tina: Killing Us Softly,” will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the auditorium, which is at 627 N. San Vicente Blvd. south of Santa Monica. It is open to the public.

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Ella
Ella
4 years ago

And anyone who said he deserved to die for doing drugs, you can shut the hell up

Ella
Ella
4 years ago

Jovin wasn’t the type of person who did drugs, sure he smoked and drank, but that is different. My uncle was a great man who loved his family and boyfriend more than anyone i know. Jovin probably did drugs once and awhile, but not very often.

Jen Campbell
6 years ago

@ Mark… really? “there are new gay men experimenting with recreational drugs every day who may not fully understand the dangers”?? Seriously…if someone “doesn’t know” that cocaine is bad for them, or speed, or GHB, or any other drug, for that matter.. then I say let them OD…Survival of the fittest…weed the idiots out, etc. You can add yourself to that list if you think people without pamphlets don’t know drugs are bad.

Steve
Steve
6 years ago

Any expectation that we MUST stop people from ever experimenting is naive and reminds me of Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” campaign from the 80’s. The bottom line is that drugs make people feel better instantly and when they don’t cause any negative consequences, a false sense of omnipotence over them starts developing. The best we can do is provide accurate information for the inevitable experimenters and hope they use that information to protect themselves. GHB is without question Russian Roulette, but let’s not stigmatize those who choose to indulge and make sure anyone struggling with their drug use is… Read more »

LB2
LB2
6 years ago

You play, you pay.

erik
erik
6 years ago

Mark, the point is: everyone knows that drugs are not good for you. EVERYONE. otherwise they would be legal and used by more people. So to say people are experimenting with them they are doing so with a FULL understanding of the risks involved. the worst thing we can do in prevention is say that a drug user is a victim. Once he is addicted he lost control but we MUST stop that first time and MUST stop the mentality that experimentation is ok. by your saying that new and young gay people are experimenting with drugs you are also… Read more »

Dirk Shafer
Dirk Shafer
6 years ago

It’s a disease and once u start it u cannot stop it. No amount of information can stop certain people. We all need to have compassion and sympathy and put our education into programs that identify and help people who don’t have the ability to stop by themselves. It’s an epidemic in the gay community. These drugs are so powerful and much stronger than a joint or a cigarette and getting hooked on them is an easy thing to do.

Mark S. King
6 years ago

That’s the level of empathy the posters thus far can manage? “He should have known better” and “what a mess?” Amazing. First, there are new gay men experimenting with recreational drugs every day who may not fully understand the dangers. All past education is not cumulative! That’s why continued messaging and peer education is so important. Assuming this man understood the risks is a lazy way of not really giving a sh-t. And placing this tragedy on life in WeHo shows a real lack of understanding about how widespread addiction has become everywhere, red and blue states, urban and rural… Read more »

Brandon perish
Brandon perish
6 years ago

Oh beautiful people from Weho! Always a mess!!

erik
erik
6 years ago

It’s very sad, but there has been so much information about the dangers of drugs in every gay publication and on the internet that for someone to risk death by taking them is equivalent to playing Russian roulette with a hand gun. The gay community has done a great job informing people about drugs. Once in a while we will have someone who thinks he or she can beat the odds and they do beat the odds for a long time but like Russian roulette there is always that chance that the next time will be deadly. again, its sad,… Read more »