15 Douglas students sickened by medications

2013-10-05T00:00:00Z 2013-10-05T13:42:53Z 15 Douglas students sickened by medicationsBy Carmen Duarte Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Fifteen Douglas middle school students were taken to a hospital Friday morning after reportedly taking a prescription drug.

The suspected drug is Clonidine, used to treat high blood pressure and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, said Keith Boesen, director of the Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center.

The center provided information about the drug and how to treat its symptoms to Douglas Fire Department paramedics and the staff of Southeast Arizona Medical Center, where the students were hospitalized, Boesen said.

The students were treated by Douglas fire paramedics at Ray Borane Middle School before being taken to the medical center, said Annie Benson, chief executive officer of the hospital.

The students, ages 13 and 14, arrived at the hospital’s emergency room by 10 a.m., and “some of them were drowsy, some confused and some combative,” she said.

Firefighters and teachers who came with the students told hospital personnel that one student apparently had a prescription drug and shared it with other students, Benson said.

Most of the students met with a behavioral-health crisis team counselor before being released to their parents, Benson said. She said all the students were expected to be discharged Friday evening.

The crisis counselors have follow-up appointments with the students next week, Benson said.

Sheila Rogers, superintendent of the Douglas Unified School District, said on the district’s website that personnel “responded immediately to the situation by seeking appropriate medical care for the students and contacting local law enforcement authorities.”

She said officials “will take additional action as more facts become known.”

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