9 Missouri Middle School Students Overdose on Methadone

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – Nine middle school girls were hospitalized March 19 after ingesting methadone pills provided by a 16-year-old male.

According to police, one of the girls was given the prescription drug, which is commonly used to treat heroin addiction, on her school bus. She then dispensed the pills amongst her friends, the majority of them eighth graders.

Officials said the students at Spring Garden Middle School felt nauseous and groggy, with at least one salivating excessively. The ambulance was called around noon, where the girls, who were crying, were taken to Heartland Regional Medical Center. One of the students was so hysterical, she was taken by stretcher.

Captain Kevin Castle of the St. Joseph Police Department said the Benton High School student who passed the drugs out to one of the girls has been charged with distributing a controlled substance. He was taken to a juvenile detention facility the night of the incident. Castle said police are trying to determine how he got the drugs.

According to officials, the girls will be fine. It is unclear if the girls knew what they were taking. All nine students face potential sanctions.

A letter by district administrator Cheri Patterson was sent out to parents discussing the situation and urging parents to talk with their children.

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