Riki Stephens: Victorian footballer dies after drug overdose on Gold Coast holiday

 

Victorian footballer Riki Stephens, who overdosed on a drug known as 'N bomb' while holidaying on the Gold Coast this past weekend, has died in hospital.


Mr Stephens, 27, was on an end-of-season trip on the Gold Coast last weekend when he became unwell after taking the hallucinogenic cocktail.

He had been in an induced coma and on life support, but died yesterday, Queensland police have said in a statement.

He was one of 12 people hospitalised that weekend from taking the drug — all suffered hallucinations.

Superintendent Michelle Stenner said purchasers of 'N bomb' should think twice.
"These drugs are manufactured substances made in backyard laboratories using concocted recipes," she said when announcing the death.

"What you think you are buying may not be what you are administering."

Two men have been charged with supplying dangerous drugs and investigations are continuing.
The Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) took the unusual step this week to publicly announce it would be using its coercive powers to find the traffickers and suppliers of the drug.

While the CCC usually joins police in their investigations, they hoped publicising their role would prevent further sales.

Fears had been held there would be more overdoses at this weekend's Gold Coast 600 Supercars and Schoolies in November.

Stephens 'not a usual drug taker'

Mr Stephens was on an end-of-season trip with the Heathcote Football Club on the Gold Coast when he died. Photo: Mr Stephens was on an end-of-season trip with the Heathcote Football Club on the Gold Coast when he died. (Supplied: The McIvor Times) 

Friends and teammates paid tribute to Mr Stephens on his Facebook page.

"Words can't describe the shock we are all feeling after the loss of this absolute legend," Joel Osbrough wrote.

"You were a fierce competitor on the field and the one we all couldn't wait to have a beer with off the field. Rest easy chicken."

Andrew Gray wrote: "My partner in crime, my date to presentation night and the captain of our boat, you'll never know the way you've changed my life and how much I appreciate it!"

Coach Paul Kennedy said Mr Stephens' parents and girlfriend had been at his bedside in hospital.
He did not believe Mr Stephens was usually a drug taker.

"He's just a fantastic person, he's got a quality job, quality family, it's just a shock to everybody," he said earlier this week.

"The club as a whole has gone down the path of drug education; obviously in the next 12 months we're going to be doing some drug education again."

Mr Kennedy said the club would provide counselling to Mr Stephens' teammates as well as further drug education to players in the next year.
Team mates with Mr Stephens, whose life support was turned off on Thursday. Photo: Team mates with Mr Stephens (far right), whose life support was turned off on Thursday. (Facebook: Riki Stephens)


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