Coroner’s Office Confirms That One of Two Deaths on Hacienda Place Was Drug Related

fentanyl, hacienda place
Devon Jacob Lopez-Bergman

The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office has confirmed that one of two men found dead in an apartment on Hacienda Place on May 5 died from the effects of cocaine, MDMA (also known as “ecstasy” and fentanyl. Devon Jacob Lopez Bergman was 21 years old.

The Coroner’s Office has not yet determined the cause of death of Vaughn York, 53, who was found dead in the same apartment. York was a chef who had worked at NBC Universal. WEHOville has been unable to learn much about Bergman.Members of his family have created a GoFundMe page to raise money for his funeral.

Bergman’s death is one of a number of incidents in which people have died while using drugs laced with fentanyl. Those incidents have prompted the City of West Hollywood and local non-profits focused on the gay community to provide ways for drug users to make sure their drugs aren’t laced with fentanyl. However, it is unclear how effective those measures will be given that many drug users appear to be unaware of fentanyl.

The Centers for Disease Control describes fentanyl as “a synthetic opioid pain reliever, approved for treating severe pain, typically advanced cancer pain. It is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is prescribed in the form of transdermal patches or lozenges and can be diverted for misuse and abuse in the United States.

“However, most recent cases of fentanyl-related harm, overdose, and death in the U.S. are linked to illegally made fentanyl. It is sold through illegal drug markets for its heroin-like effect. It is often mixed with heroin and/or cocaine as a combination product—with or without the user’s knowledge—to increase its euphoric effects.”

In May, the West Hollywood City Council voted to allocate $20,000 to APLA Health and the LA LGBT Center to provide fentanyl testing strips to drug users. The $15,000 allocated to APLA’s Health and Wellness program was to develop and distribute a public education campaign, targeting the West Hollywood community and members of the LGBT community that visited West Hollywood during Pride, providing information on the risks of the use of fentanyl and other party drugs such as Methamphetamine.

The testing strips can be used to test a drug to make sure it isn’t laced with fentanyl. In order to use the test strips, testers dissolve a small amount of substance in water, and then dip the test strips into the liquid for 15 seconds. The test strip is then set on a flat surface until results appear, usually within five minutes. One line indicates fentanyl is present in the sample; two lines indicate a negative result.

Fentanyl testing strips are available at all of the Center’s locations, which include its Center WeHo at 8745 Santa Monica Blvd. in West Hollywood.Fentanyl testing strips also are available at APLA’s Gleicher/Chen Health Center and APLA Health – Olympic, two locations that serve people who live and work in West Hollywood.


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mike m
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mike m

@Ham- More Gay men need to set an example and become Role models. Stonewall was a perfect example of that . The younger generation has no role model….

weho adjacent
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weho adjacent

Are you suggesting those people who fought back at Stonewall weren’t doing drugs? lol ok

Ham
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Ham

such classy people we have ……living in WEHO.

Michael Grace
Guest

Tragic. Grindr is drug central with sex hook in second place. And it’s the number one non tourist industry in WEHO. Plus, it’s owned by a company in Communist China. And don’t think these so-called capitalistic Commies aren’t using and cataloging all the information the Grindr members put on that site for future black mailing efforts.

mike m
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mike m

Glad I never posted anything on Grindr. I hope our community grows up. Stop all the blatant drug use and promiscuity. 60’s and 70’s are gone. Chart a new course in advancing. I just don’t want to be associated with people who live with no regard for anyone, but themselves.

tomdemille2017
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tomdemille2017

The abbey would be a good place to have those testing strips

Eric Jon Schmidt
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Eric Jon Schmidt

Too many young people dying of drug use. Testing strips are a good idea, but so too would be a permanent and immediate citywide publicity campaign about using drugs in the first place. Young people’s brains are not fully developed to always make good choices. They don’t have enough life experience for their own safety so they give into the temptation easily without having enough education or warnings about drugs. It is our responsibility as a Community and City to keep our Residents and visitors informed. May both of the deceased rest In Peace and my thought are going out… Read more »

mike m
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mike m

Eric I agree.

jimmy palmieri
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jimmy palmieri

fentanyl testing strips are avail for free!!!! just contact the lalgbt center! no questions asked! assume all drugs are laced with it right now!!!!!!

mike m
Guest
mike m

I’m glad I’m not part of the center. I’m too conservative for their taste. Too far left, they have traveled. Sad to see our community divided. I’m in the middle of the road ( common sense). Too extreme of anything, does benefit anyone; except the perpetrator of the extreme. Sad that two lives were lost . We need a better handle on the drug epidemic. Weho needs to seriously address this crisis.

weho adjacent
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weho adjacent

How is the LGBT center “left”? Because they don’t want people to die? That is being left politically now? Or is it because they want trans people to feel safe and healthy? Is that against your conservative values? I don’t understand…