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The alleged heroin death of a Google executive is highlighting ongoing drug problems in the Silicon Valley and raising questions about how to stop them.
Forrest Timothy Hayes, 51, was found dead on his yacht in the Santa Cruz harbor, but an arrest was only made last week.
Police have charged 26-year-old Alix Tichelman, an alleged upscale escort with family ties to the tech industry, with eight counts including manslaughter and set her bail at $1.5 million. Surveillance video reportedly shows her injecting Hayes with the heroin that eventually killed him, stepping over his body several times and drinking a glass of wine before leaving the scene.
Surveillance video reportedly shows her injecting Hayes with the heroin that eventually killed him…
Tichelman pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to all charges against her. However, her arrest has prompted police in Georgia to reexamine her involvement in the death of 53-year-old Dean Riopelle, who passed away in his Atlanta home last year in her presence. The pair were reportedly dating at the time, but his death in the shower was ruled as an accidental heroin and alcohol overdose.
Although heroin is often thought of as a “poor man’s drug,” it’s now being used by business executives in a similar manner to the way cocaine was used in the ’80s. Theodore Cicero, Ph.D, author of The Changing Face of Heroin Use in the United States, said many professionals are turning to heroin as a means of coping with the demands of their job.
“With occupations that are quite lofty, part of that atmosphere is the stress,” he explained. “What we’re discovering is that people are…numbing themselves to their surroundings to better be able to cope with life as they see it.”
In Silicon Valley, a pharmaceutical drug called Provigil is used by many successful entrepreneurs to help keep them awake…
In Silicon Valley, a pharmaceutical drug called Provigil is used by many successful entrepreneurs to help keep them awake well into the night, even though it hasn’t been deemed safe for that use. It’s so potent that the U.S. military has reportedly tested it on helicopter pilots to see if they can remain effective after 88 hours with no sleep.
Marijuana use is also allegedly rife in the Silicon Valley tech industry, further fueled by the fact that there are 102 marijuana dispensaries in nearby San Jose. A drug ring bust in that city last April even brought up ties to a Mexican cartel.