BREMERTON, Wash. – Nine middle school students were taken to the hospital Tuesday after ingesting what appears to be someone else's prescription drugs. Two of the students may face charges.
Bremerton police say a student at Mountain View Middle School got sick and began vomiting. He went to the hospital. That child's father returned to the school after learning that his son and other students had been ingesting the drugs.
Seven boys and three girls between the ages of 12 and 14 were identified as being involved. All were treated at Harrison Medical Center and released. Police say it doesn't appear any will suffer serious health consequences.
The drugs are believed to be the anti-anxiety drug Cymbalta or the painkiller Oxycontin. Police believe some of the students didn't know what they were taking. One student is believed to have taken as many as six pills.
Two boys, ages 12 and 13, have been identified as the ones who distributed the drugs. It appears the drugs came from the parents of one of those students.
"I think it was pretty risky of them to bring medication to school," said Janet Flores, the mother of a Mountain View student. "Taking someone else's prescription is dangerous."
A new White House study found prescription drug abuse in schools has soared 400 percent in 10 years. The most abused class of drugs is pain relievers.
"Kids almost consider them harmless because they are prescribed by a doctor and they don't know how deadly they can be," said Brent Campbell with the FBI Citizens' Academy.
Experts suggest you purchase lock boxes for the most potent pills. They cost about $15 and most drug store chains carry them. And, never stop talking to children about the dangers of drugs.