A warning for all parents: What looks like candy could be poisoning your kids. Some parents in Pinellas County are outraged. Four high school students are recovering after being drugged by something that looks innocent enough: candy.
The Pinellas County School District says seven kids tried the tainted candy at Boca Ciega High School in Gulfport Monday.
“She ate some gummy bears or something that was supposed to be injected with something. I’m not happy with this at all,” says mother Kellie Boxx. Her daughter is one of four students who had to be rushed to Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital after eating what she thought was just a gummy bear. It turned out to be spiked with drugs.
“She threw up a whole lot,” Boxx says.
The district confirms it is a fellow classmate who supplied the tainted candy to seven kids. Boxx is demanding to know how this happened in the middle of the school day. “I'm mad at the school for one, and I mad at whoever gave it to her for two. I think these teachers need to have better insight on the kids, what's going on with those kids,” says Boxx.
The district isn’t saying how many students involved may be disciplined.
Sophomore Rosie Santiago's friend got sick, too. “She just thought it was a piece of candy. She just ate it like a regular piece of candy and just started tripping out and freaking out. She was dazing, had her head down, just kind of in a trance. You couldn't really talk to her. She couldn't function well, just real slow kind of just losing your mind, honestly,” says Santiago.
Gulfport police tell 10News WTSP that they're still testing exactly what kind of drug had been in the gummies. Doctors warn that students may believe they're eating a handful of candy, but it could take just 2 or 3 to overdose.
“The side effects are so dangerous, it's not worth it,” says Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital Emergency Room Dr. Pamela Love.
Investigators around the country have seen prescription meds injected into the gummies or dipped in the drugs and absorbed in the candy.
The deadly drug Flakka is being made to look like the gummies in Miami.
And Love says pot is also a potentially dangerous edible. “It might not just be the effects of marijuana, it might be the other chemicals in the candy. Dizziness, slurred speech, euphoria, depressed mood,” says Love.
It's a problem prompting parents to warn their kids about the new danger of taking candy from strangers or really anyone. “It’s very scary, “ says Rosie Santiago's mom, Linda Santiago. “Just not to take things from other people, especially if she doesn't know them, just to be very careful.”
Doctors urge parents and students to closely watch for symptoms. They can be mild to severe from vomiting and slurred speech to hallucinations.