Hazing News

Close call for ZBT members

UPDATE: 7 People treated for Oxycontin overdose in Isla Vista
9 patients were taken to the hospital

By: Stacey Sakai Beth Farnsworth
Posted: Mar 01, 2018 11:15 PM PST
Updated: Mar 05, 2018 08:58 AM PST

Nine people some UCSB students are…
ISLA VISTA, Calif. – UPDATE: NewsChannel 3 has learned that of the nine people taken to the hospital Thursday night, seven of them suffered overdoses. The incident happened along the 6500 block of Del Playa Drive at a residence where a number of senior members of the Zeta Beta Tau (ZBT) Fraternity live.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s officials confirm there were roughly 20 people at the residence at the time and that all of the patients needing medical attention were male. The majority of them are UCSB students.

Their ages and exactly what type of drug they overdosed on were not released, however, Kelly Hoover, spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, confirmed that each patient had “ingested a blue pill.”

Officials said the call came in at about 10:30 Thursday night when the caller reported one person at the home may have overdosed.


When deputies arrived they found an unconscious male lying in the backseat of a vehicle. His housemates claimed he’d ingested an unknown amount of alcohol and Oxycontin, a prescription pain reliever.

Within a span of minutes, deputies and Santa Barbara County Fire and AMR personnel found nine patients suffering from some sort of medical emergency when they arrived on scene — three were unconscious. An Isla Vista resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said that of the nine people, seven suffered overdoses.

Narcan, a nasal spray that counteracts the life-threatening effects of a drug overdose was used on one of the victims, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His current book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer is a former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird and former managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily-- and in his weekly column "Far from Randolph" in the Winchester Star-Gazette of Randolph County, Indiana.

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