Ravens, La. Tech standout LB died from fentanyl-laced cocaine, examiner says

Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jaylon Ferguson looks on between plays against the Jacksonville...
Baltimore Ravens linebacker Jaylon Ferguson looks on between plays against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the second half of an NFL football preseason game, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2019, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)(Nick Wass | AP)
Published: Jul. 1, 2022 at 7:54 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 1, 2022 at 10:37 PM CDT
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BALTIMORE (WAFB) - West Feliciana High and Louisiana Tech star linebacker Jaylon Ferguson died from the combined effects of fentanyl and cocaine, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Ferguson died after police responded to a home in the northern district of Baltimore where they found him unresponsive and being treated by medics. Baltimore Police said that there were no signs of trauma found and that no foul play was suspected. A spokesman for the Maryland Department of Health said Ferguson’s death on June 21 was ruled an accident.

Dr. Louis Cataldie, an addiction medicine specialist, said fentanyl is killing people at a record pace.

“This stuff kills you like nothing else we’ve ever seen, and I mean nothing,” Cataldie said. “You can take a Lincoln penny, one old one cent piece, and put a speck on there that can cover his eye and you have enough to kill you.”

As of July 1, 147 people have died from a fatal overdose in East Baton Rouge Parish in 2022.

Experts claim just about every drug getting laced that you can name. Those drugs include cocaine, heroin, and even marijuana.

However, doctors say some people are still choosing to ignore the warning and take the risk.

“Even though we’re telling people how dangerous this stuff is, there seems to be this level of acceptability because of how much is out there,” Cataldie said.

But he believes they can still save lives.

Cataldie said it starts with outreach programs like Save Our Summer (S.O.S.) that are happening right now in Baton Rouge.

“We need to aim at stopping the supply, but we’ve got to stop the demand also,” Cataldie said.

He said this is a fight nobody can afford to lose.

“We’ve got to be alert, and we have to fight it. It’s not going to go away on its own,” Cataldie said.

If you know someone in need of help, you can call 225-788-7788 or you can visit www.whenyouarereadybr.com.

A viewing and funeral service for Ferguson is scheduled for Saturday in St. Francisville, Louisiana, according to a post from his fiancée, Doni Smith.

Ferguson played locally at West Feliciana before starring at Louisiana Tech and breaking the FBS record for career sacks with 45 and he broke former Raven Terrell Suggs’ record of 44.

The former Bulldog was drafted in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft and played in 36 games for Baltimore with 62 total tackles and 4.5 sacks.

During his time at Tech he was named the Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year in 2018 while leading the nation in sacks with 17.5 and sacks per game with 1.35 while ranking No. 2 and No. 1 in C-USA in tackles-for-loss with 26.

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