School responds after girls trip on cold meds


The principal of a middle school in Morgan Hill is preparing a video on the dangers of over-the-counter medicines a day after three girls were treated for taking a large dose of a cold medication, a school district official said Tuesday.

The video, produced by Britton Middle School Principal Glen Webb and school staff, will explain the effects of cold, cough and congestion medications and the impact social media has on promoting the abuse of them, Morgan Hill Unified School District Superintendent Steve Betando said.

On Monday, three girls at Britton saw people use the medicines on YouTube and other online sites, school officials said. Afterwards they swallowed large doses of a medicine, became ill and exhibited unusual behavior that other people noticed, according to school officials.

Morgan Hill police officers responded to the school and found that the girls, who were either 12 or 13 years old, ingested 12 Coricidin tablets, police said.

The children were transported from the school, at 80 West Central Ave. in Morgan Hill, to a hospital for treatment and later released but will be monitored by their health providers for any long-term effects on their health, Betando said.

That evening, school officials sent emails to parents of its students to report the incident and recommend that parents be vigilant about monitoring both their children’s use of household medications and social media; warn them about experimenting with the drugs; and the danger of exceeding the labeled dosages, Betando said.

Police later learned the girls purchased the tablets from a male juvenile. The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case and may file charges, according to police. Abusing the over-the-counter cold remedies, which are very accessible, is a national trend and large doses produce intoxicating effects in children, Betando said.

Misuse of the drugs used to treat cold, coughs and congestion may lead to long-term organ damage and make the body susceptible to other disabling conditions, he said.

The cold medicine being abused among children lately is Coricidin, nicknamed “CCC,” a cold medicine that contains dextromethorphan but does not have guaifenesin, a drug that helps relieve congestion, according to the NIDA.

Children may abuse cough medicines, which comes in the form of tablets, capsules, and syrups, because it is so easy to get, according to institute. The drugs may cause vomiting, hallucinations, high blood pressure and even death, according to the

NIDA. Other terms for Coricidin include Cordies, Orange Crush, Red Devils, Skittles, DXM, Dex, Vitamin D, Robo, Robo-trippin’, Candy and Robo-dosing, according to police.

The school district is working with Morgan Hill police and health practitioners to provide safety information about the use of the medications to students, parents, school employees and the retailers that sell them, Betando said.

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