Sash Death: Toxic Drug Mixture - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Sash Death: Toxic Drug Mixture

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Tyler Sash is remembered as one of the Hawkeyes' best, a talented man gone too soon.

The State Medical Examiner concludes the accidental mixing of methadone and hydrocodone caused his death. They are both very powerful pain medications.

A Clinical Supervisor at Pathways, a substance abuse center talked about the dangers of the two drugs.

"Hydrocodone is definitely something that is given frequently for severe pain relief. The methadone is becoming favorably used by physicians because it is powerful and strong and it's also longer lasting," Marcia Wulfekuhle says.

And when you mix the two together...

"Very powerful. Methadone is also used for treatment of individuals with a heroin addiction," she says.

During his time as a Hawkeye and as a New York Giant, Sash suffered various injuries including a dislocated shoulder and multiple concussions.

"We are seeing a lot of sports injuries and as people get older, the pain is there and they want to feel better," she says.

Wulfekuhle says more people are turning to strong and extremely addictive pain killers, sometimes more than one.

"People are developing a tolerance for pain medicine and in order for it to continue to work, the physicians need to continue to increase the dosage so they often times are rotating the medication. It's very tragic," she says.

Additional studies will look at whether Sash, suffered from CTE, a brain disease caused by repetitive trauma or concussions. The results will be available in eight to 12 months.

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