Harrah Police Launch Investigation Into Student Overdose

Wednesday, February 16th 2011, 3:05 pm
By: News 9

Adrianna Iwasinski, News 9

HARRAH, Oklahoma -- Harrah police said the department has started an investigation -- along with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and the Oklahoma Count District Attorney's Office -- into the prescription drug overdose of several students at Harrah Junior High School.

Police said they talked to between eight and 10 students between the ages of 13 and 15 who may have been involved in taking the medication. Several students were exhibiting symptoms ranging from nausea and dizziness to losing consciousness.

Three students were transported to Oklahoma City and Midwest City hospitals.  Two ninth-grade boys were treated and released Wednesday.  A girl in the eighth grade was kept in ICU overnight.  She's currently in good condition and could be released from the hospital Thursday.

The school planned to hold a meeting Thursday afternoon with all students to talk about the incident and reinforce its no-tolerance drug policy.

Police have recovered between 75 to 100 prescription pills in five different pill bottles. They said they believed a number of students had ingested them, but only one student brought the pills to school. 

Police said the pills may have been stolen from adults because they were not properly secured.

"We are not worried about charging anyone criminally right now, we just worries about the safety of our students," said Phil Stewart, Harrah Police Department spokesperson.

One of the pills had been identified as Neurontin, which is an anti-seizure medication commonly used for nerve pain and migraines. Prevacid and Topamax were also recovered, which are also used for headaches.

"It's sad that kids this age are getting into drugs," said Cindy Steele, a concerned parent.

"My wife and I just went to a kid's funeral who overdosed," said Mike Best, the father of an 8th grader at Harrah Junior High. "It seems its happening everyday anymore."

Best said his son was not one of the children who reportedly took the pills.

"He knew them, but they weren't his friends," said Best.

Parents were notified of the situation and school officials said a robo-call will go out to all Harrah School District parents to fill them in on the incident. School officials are asking parents to talk to students about drug abuse and monitor them closely. They are also urging parents to lock up all medications.