CLOVER — The York County Sheriff’s Office last month arrested three teens accused of making plans to deal prescription drugs, including Ritalin, oxycodone and hydrocodone, at Clover High School. A week later, sheriff’s officials arrested a 17-year-old boy accused of selling two Adderall pills for $5 to a female student, according to police reports.
Huckabee noted that one of the Clover cases was discovered when a parent who had swapped cell phones with her child received a text message that said, “I will have the Ritalin at school on Friday.”
As a result of those arrests, Huckabee said, Clover school officials began talking to students and learning about more cases of abuse. “We started questioning kids, and they started coming forward and telling us,” she said.
During the 2012-13 school year, Huckabee said, Clover schools have reported 32 incidents involving drug abuse — including over-the-counter drugs, prescription medications and marijuana. She said many of those incidents were reported after the February arrests.
In the same time period, Huckabee told the board, the York schools reported 14 incidents of drug abuse, while Rock Hill schools reported 33 and Fort Mill reported five.
York Superintendent Vernon Prosser said parents need to pay close attention to prescription drugs in the home. He said they need to be careful to dispose of drugs no longer being used.
“You really have to be cognizant of that, because there’s so much peer pressure out there, to ‘Let me try one of your ADD pills,’” Prosser said. He said middle- and high school-age youth tend to be “impulsive, and they don’t look to the future, of how one decision can affect them.”
Huckabee said reasons for prescription pill use include simple curiosity, peer pressure, a desire to “share the experience,” using drugs to deal with stress or other problems and using stimulants to stay awake and study.
She said students who sell medications may use it as a way to make quick cash. She said many of them find drugs readily available among friends and family. She said it’s also hard for school officials to detect.
Adam Moore, a Clover High School junior who attended a recent York County summit on prescription drug abuse, said he had considered marijuana more of a problem than prescription meds.
However, he said he has become more aware of the problem.
“It opened my eyes,” Moore told the Clover board about his involvement in the summit. He added that many students “think they’re invincible to the effects” of drug abuse.
Huckabee said the Clover district has conducted successful drug dog sweeps at schools and hosted awareness sessions for parents to talk about the problem. Moore also recommended more speakers at schools to help students realize that “maybe that could happen to me.”