MARTINSBURG, BLAIR COUNTY - A fatal overdose of concentrated bath salts, or Blizzard, is suspected in the sudden death of Abbi Brumbaugh, 20, of Williamsburg.
Brumbaugh was found dead Friday morning inside a home on Lexington Avenue in Altoona.
Katie Bowers, 19, had been best friends with Abbi Brumbaugh for more than six years.
"I don't want to believe it. I can't believe it. You never expect it would be one of your friends," Bowers said in response to Brumbaugh's death.
"Abbi was an all around amazing person. She was genuine. She loved animals and she loved helping people. She was such a great person. It's such a shame. I just never thought I'd wake up and get a phone call that my best friend died. It's just this huge nightmare that I want to be over with."
An initial investigation into Brumbaugh's death suggests she was injecting blizzard the morning she died, a drug experts say can mimic a meth-like high.
"I'm mad at her, and I'm sad," Bower's said. "I feel mad at her for doing the drug and I'm mad at her for not controlling her intake."
Bowers also said she's mad because the drug that may have taken the life of her best friend is perfectly legal to buy and use.
"It hits you really hard knowing that it took your best friend away. I just want to stop everybody from doing blizzard before it is too late," a tearful Bowers said.
While Brumbaugh's death may be the first in the region attributed to Blizzard, Bowers said that doesn't mean there haven't, and won't be others. "It can hit anybody," she explained.
Blizzard and Ivory Snow are products marketed to consumers and sold on shelves as concentrated bath salts. The bath salts are rapidly gaining popularity among kids and young people who experts say sniff, snort and shoot up the drug much like heroin or crack cocaine.
Bowers said she wants others to understand just how dangerous and deadly Blizzard can be.
"I'll never get to hug her and hold her and tell her I love her and hear it back. I just can't believe that I'll never see her again."
An autopsy on Brumbaugh was preformed Saturday; however the official cause of death will not be determined until toxicology tests are complete.
Coroner Patty Ross said she knows of several emergency room cases where people have overdosed on Blizzard.
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