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3 more arrests in OD case
Incident at SFHS involved liquid methadone
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Forsyth County News

Authorities have charged three South Forsyth High school students in connection with a suspected overdose on campus earlier this month.

The three 15-year-old male sophomores were taken Oct. 3 to Northside Hospital-Forsyth after they ingested what authorities first thought was an over-the-counter medication.

Forsyth County Sheriff's Lt. Col. Gene Moss said Wednesday it has since been determined they used a prescription medication.

All three of the teens were charged Wednesday with possession of a Schedule 2 narcotic on school grounds. One of them also was charged with distribution. The boys were released to their parents.

Moss said the on-campus incident was "directly related to liquid methadone being mixed with some substance."

According to the Web site for the National Drug Intelligence Center of the U.S. Department of Justice, methadone is a synthetic narcotic administered in pills, liquid or injections.

It is used to treat addiction to heroin and other narcotics, as well as a painkiller for cancer patients and those suffering terminal illnesses.

"Methadone overdoses are associated with severe respiratory depression, decreases in heart rate and blood pressure, coma, and death," according to the drug intelligence center.

Moss and Sheriff's Investigator Gus Sesan applauded the "quick response" of school staff and nurses in the incident.

"If these kids hadn't been at school, and had been anywhere where they wouldn't have gotten immediate professional help, they would have died," Moss said.

Sheriff's Capt. Paul Taylor echoed their remarks.

"That can be a chaotic situation, but the school administrators did a good job of keeping things under control, assisting law enforcement and medical personnel and the kids that were in trouble," Taylor said.

A 16-year-old girl, whose identity has not been released, was arrested Oct. 3 in connection with the incident, which resulted in the school being locked down three times that day.

She was charged with possession and sale of a Schedule 2 narcotic on school grounds. Authorities said she is in custody at the Regional Youth Detention Center in Gainesville.

Moss said it appears she brought the liquid methadone from home and "that's currently under investigation."

An unrelated arrest was also made Oct. 3 as a result of a search conducted during the lockdown.

A 17-year-old female student was charged with possession of marijuana and drugs not being kept in original container.

In addition, a drug search of the school Thursday morning resulted in another arrest, also for marijuana possession.