Teens abusing prescription drugs
Thu, 06 Oct 2011 01:27:30 GMT — Parents and law enforcement officials are speaking out on teens using prescription drugs to get high. The concern comes after at least three students in the capital city had "adverse reactions" to prescription pills they took during the school day at the Simonsen 9 th Grade Center. Two students admitted to taking the prescription pills while being treated at the hospital. The investigation is ongoing as to what medication the students took but we do know that the students were treated and released and are doing okay. But parents said the use of prescription drugs among our youth is a problem. They are found in almost every home and are as easy to get as opening up the kitchen medicine cabinet but prescription drugs can be just as dangerous as any street drug. "They get it illegally and then they use it, they don't know what it's for, they might overdose on it, they might give it to their friends and this could lead to some various serious consequences," Jefferson City Police Department Captain Doug Shoemaker said. Those serious consequences hit close to home for parents Simonsen 9th graders. "If kids are getting a hold of pills in 9th grade and passing them out without teachers knowing about it, ya know, what other things are they going to do, what's next," one Simonsen ninth grader's mom who wanted to stay anonymous said. That mom called the paramedics on Tuesday after she thought he child had also taken the pills, turned out her child didn't but the experience frightened her. "If I had the skill and the patience I would probably home-school just because they schools aren't even safe anymore," the mom said. Teens often think that because a doctor prescribed it and it's legal, it's OK to take, even if their name isn't on the bottle. Besides the physical danger, police also warn of criminal repercussions. "Handing those out to friends or people that you know becomes distribution of a controlled substance so it's still the same as a narcotic, it's treated the same way so clearly there are criminal repercussions that can go with that," Shoemaker said. Shoemaker said parents and guardians need to make sure they watch over their medication. "It's just like having a loaded firearm at home, misuse of these types of things, or that kind of situation could lead to potentially fatal consequences," Shoemaker said. They are consequences that could be avoided with a simple lock and key. The Jefferson City Public School District is still investigating what happened at Simonsen 9th Grade Center. Officials said there will be some kind of disciplinary action taken.