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Prairie Grove PD: Student Brings Bag Of Pills To School, Classmate Hospitalized

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PRAIRIE GROVE (KFSM) -- A female student was arrested Monday (Dec. 8) after she brought of a bag of prescription medication to Prairie Grove High School and handed the pills out to her classmates, according the Prairie Grove Police Department.

The student brought the medication, which wasn't prescribed to her, to school Friday and handed it out to several classmates, including one male student who had to be hospitalized, Capt. Jeff O'Brien said Tuesday.

The bag contained two medications: Tramadol and Amitripyline, according to a police report.

The male student was found passed out in a classroom and had to be taken to Washington Regional Medical Center's Intensive Care Unit where he spent 18 hours in a drug-induced coma, police said. The student was released from the hospital over the weekend, according to O'Brien.

The male student's mother confirmed to police he had taken two 150 milligram pills of Amitriptyline.

Witnesses told investigators the female student was showing a bag of prescription pain medication to her classmates during lunch and some of them took handfuls of the pills, the police report states.

The female student was arrested on suspicion of misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance with enhanced penalties for having the medications on school grounds, according to the police report. The suspect was taken to the Washington County Juvenile Detention Center, according to O'Brien. It's possible other charges may come later, he said.

The female student told officers she took the medication from her mother's house and handed it out because she wanted to fit in with her peers, according to the police report.

“She didn’t realize how dangerous pills could be,” O'Brien said. "She told investigators that she brought [the pills] to school out of peer pressure. And felt that, by bringing these pills, it would help her fit in with other students."

Amitriptyline is used to treat depression, but can also be used to treat nerve pain, eating disorders or to prevent migraine headaches, according to WebMD.

Tramadol is used to treat moderate to severe pain, WebMD states. Other drugs in the same class include codeine, methadone and oxycodone.

Local pharmacists said the two drugs were designed to help adults.

“[The drugs are] like a gun," said Melissa Brown, a pharmacist. "Because, although it can be very-very safe, and some kids know exactly the right way to use those, it only takes one time."

Both drugs are controlled substances.

Parents of students at Prairie Grove High School said they never expected there to be an issue with drugs in the school.

“We never think that this could happen around here," said Jerry Allison, a parent of a student at the school. "But, we always talk to our kids about stuff like that. Daily. You see things on the news about this around the country, so you always have to bring it up with them."

Police said the ordeal could have played out much worse.

“Being 18 hours in an unresponsive state could have led to his death," O'Brien said. "And, this could have been a far worse situation that we would have been dealing with."

Representatives from Prairie Grove High School never returned calls from 5NEWS.