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TikTok Star Cooper Noriega Opened Up About Suicide Attempt & Addiction Issues Before His Death At 19

Photo: Instagram 
Cooper Noriega

Cooper Noriega, a TikTok star and influencer, passed away on June 9 at the age of 19, shortly after posting a video where he chillingly predicted dying young. 

Noriega was pronounced dead at the scene on the 500 block of North First Street in Burbank, California, according to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner's Office.

Just hours before his death, Noriega posted shared a video on his TikTok account that showed him lying in bed with a text overlay reading: "who else b thinking they gon die young af."

How did Cooper Noriega die?

The Los Angeles Medical Examiner-Coroner told People that Noriega's cause of death has been deferred, which "means that after an autopsy, a cause of death has not been determined and the medical examiner is requesting more investigation."

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"Once the tests/studies come back, the doctor evaluates the case again and makes the cause of death determination," the spokesperson said.

While there is no official cause of death as of yet, many fans infer that Noriega, who had been open about his struggles with addiction, probably died from an OD.

A fellow TikTok claimed Cooper Noriega died of an overdose.

Brianna LaPaglia, better known on the app as Brianna Chickenfry, appeared on her podcast to discuss Noriega’s death. LaPaglia co-hosts the “BFFs” podcast with Josh Richards, Noriega’s close friend, and confirmed that she was with Richards when he learned about Noriega’s death.

"He's 19 and he passed away from an overdose," LaPaglia told her listeners, explaining that Richards had left the club they were partying at after learning about his friend's passing.

   

   

Cooper Noriega had struggled with a drug addiction.

In an interview on 'The Good Boys' podcast back in March 2022, Noriega shared how he became addicted to drugs at the age of nine after a doctor prescribed him Xanax to help him deal with his fear of planes.

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Noriega described an experience he had while flying to Greece, where the plane skidded while landing and cemented his fear of flying.

"We were traveling a lot that year, so I was taking Xanax, like two to four times a month at nine," Noriega explained. "It just wired my brain so badly that I started doing drugs at 12, like vaping. I started smoking weed at 13."

In 2020, Cooper Noriega overdosed.

He explained that things started getting worse when he was 14 after he started taking prescription drugs, and when he turned 15 he experienced his first overdose.

Back in January 2022, Noriega shared that he was 90 days sober after experiencing a near-fatal OD in October 2020, where Thomas Petrou, founder of The Hype House, was able to resuscitate him.

"I'm sure by now you guys have heard about Cooper passing," Petrou said in a TikTok video, explaining how he'd found Noriega after his overdose in 2020.

   

   

"Three years ago I went into a room and Cooper had [overdosed]. It was a very scary situation. I walked into a room and he was laying there completely unconscious and I tried to wake him up," Petrou continued.

Petrou added that he had started to give Noriega chest compressions "for a solid 20 minutes" while the ambulance was on the way and was able to bring him back.

"I just remember standing over him like 'you are not gonna be gone kid'." 

Noriega had previously described the incident as a "suicide attempt."

In Noriega's last TikTok live before his passing, he emotionally told his followers that he was partnering with the non-profit organization, End Overdose, whose mission "is to end overdoses by distributing fentanyl testing strips and to spread awareness on the opioid crisis."

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He tearfully explained that he was still sober and wanted to raise awareness over the millions of people who die from drugs laced with fentanyl.

Following his death, fans sent their condolences to Noriega's family, while others blamed his death on a lack of support from his closest friends, including singer Jaden Hossler, who had written a song for Noriega after his overdose in 2020.

While doing an interview on the 'BFFs' podcast on June 1, Noriega opened up about how he and Hossler weren't on speaking terms anymore.

"Me and him had some issues," Noriega explained. "We just stopped kinda talking."

He also stated his desire that they would reconcile.

Cooper Noriega's friends have been facing backlash after his death.

On social media, fans have cruelly targeted Hossler as well as other friends of Noriega — including Nessa Barrett, Josh Richards and ex-girlfriend Sabrina Quesada — for not helping Noriega get help.

However, other supporters have rightfully pointed out that blame cannot be placed on those who loved the teenager. 

Many influencers appeared to be extremely close to and supportive of Noriega in his final days.

Creators shared tributes to Noriega and were clearly devoted friends throughout his life.

“The light of my life, you’re the best thing that ever happened to me,” Quesada wrote in a tribute.

Barrett also posted a lengthy tribute to her “best friend” writing, “it broke my heart knowing how much pain u carried when u were such a light to this world. I’ve always been so amazed by ur strength and how u carried ur self.”

Cooper Noriega had been an advocate for mental health and addiction awareness.

On June 6, Noriega announced that he was creating a Discord server dedicated to discussing mental health, where he invited his followers to join.

"If you're really into getting your emotions out, or whatever, come join," he said in a TikTok video. "I created [the server] because of how much I love you guys and how much I struggle with it myself."

"I've been struggling with addiction since I was 9 years old," Noriega wrote in a post on Instagram. "One of the many things I've learnt while struggling with addiction was that surrounding yourself with negative people will only bring you down."

If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, there are resources to get help.

The process of recovery is not linear, but the first step to getting better is asking for help. For more information, referrals to local treatment facilities and support groups, and relevant links, visit SAMHSA’s website.

If you’d like to join a recovery support group, you can locate the nearest Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meetings near you. Or you can call SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-799-7233, which is a free 24/7 confidential information service in both English and Spanish. For TTY, or if you’re unable to speak safely, call 1-800-487-4889.

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Nia Tipton is a writer living in Brooklyn. She covers pop culture, social justice issues, and trending topics. Keep up with her on Instagram and Twitter.

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