Hotel Heir Found Dead After Alleged Drug Overdose

By McCarton Ackerman 03/19/14

The heir to the Denihan Hospitality Group was found dead near a batch of cocaine, crystal meth, and the club drug GHB.

Charlie Denihan.jpg
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A young hotel heir was found dead on Monday in his New York City highrise apartment after a suspected drug overdose.

The body of Charlie Denihan, 28, was found by his roommate with a variety of drugs next to him including cocaine, crystal meth, and the club drug GHB. Police are investigating whether a bad batch of GHB was distributed since Denihan’s was the third drug-related death in the city within a four-hour window, according to police. Police don’t suspect any foul play related to Denihan’s passing.

Denihan’s father, Patrick, is the CEO of the Denihan Hospitality Group. The company runs a chain of boutique hotels including the luxury Affinia Hotel in Midtown. “We are devastated at the tragic and sudden loss of Charlie. He was a loving and remarkable son, brother, nephew, cousin, godfather and friend,” read a statement from the family. “In this tragic time, we ask that you remember him in your prayers and respect our privacy as we mourn his passing.”

The 28-year-old’s use of GHB reflects a growing trend of people using club drugs well into their 30s. The Club Drug Clinic in London said that the average age of people being treated in their facility is 30 to 35. “Many users aren’t stereotypical teenage revelers, but older people with jobs and responsibilities," said Dr. Owen Bowden-Jones, who founded the clinic. “These are people who have used club drugs recreationally, often without a problem, for years. Slowly their problems have escalated to the point they have run into significant difficulty. The harms we are now seeing, you wouldn’t normally associate with club drugs."

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McCarton Ackerman is a freelance writer and editor living in Portland, Oregon. He has been a contributor for The Fix since October 2011, writing on a wide range of topics ranging from medical marijuana in Colorado to the world's sexiest drug smugglers. Follow him on Linkedin and Twitter.