CALEXICO — Four teens are in critical condition after overdosing on the prescription medication Baclofen on Wednesday night.
The teens, ranging in age from 14 to 17 years, were found floating in water in the spa section of an apartment complex in the 1100 block of Rosas Street about 11 p.m., with the exception of one girl who was conscious. That girl later began to throw up and passed out, explained Calexico Police Chief Jim Neujahr.
The teens, two boys and two girls, were airlifted for treatment after taking 10-milligram pills of Baclofen, a muscle relaxant, said Calexico Police Chief Jim Neujahr.
They were taken to Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego and are on ventilators in critical condition, though it is not known whether their conditions are life-threatening.
The Calexico Fire Department responded to the call and found another boy was also with the group, however he only took half a pill and didn’t experience major side effects, Neujahr said.
The Calexico Police Department was able to recover a plastic bag filled with additional Baclofen pills, Neujahr said.
Wednesday’s incident has brought to eight the number of teens taken to the emergency room this week because of drug overdoses.
The earlier overdoses involved three teens from Holtville who were seen in the emergency room Monday after overdosing on prescription medication.
The Imperial County Public Health Department noted the unusual spike in drug overdoses among the eight teenagers Thursday, the most recent being Wednesday night.
Although the overdoses occurred in two communities, a joint press release from Imperial County Public Health and Behavioral Health Services reported both involved a combination of marijuana and prescription drugs, with marijuana in one of the incidents reportedly laced with an unknown white substance.
“It is unfortunate that this has happened to students in our community. These incidents remind us of the importance that parents keep the lines of communication open with their children and discuss the dangerous effects of drugs, and the long-term consequences of an overdose,” stated Michael Horn, director of the Imperial County Behavioral Health Services.
Dr. Stephen Munday, public health officer, added, “It is important for our community to know the health risks associated with the illegal use of prescription drugs. Although prescription drugs can be easier to get from a person’s medicine cabinet or on the Internet, it doesn’t make them any less dangerous than street drugs. Combining street drugs and illegal drugs is extremely dangerous.”
Imperial County Behavioral Health Services notified school district counseling staff of the drug overdoses.
The Calexico Police Department is investigating how the teens came into contact with the drugs and are not sure whether the Calexico incident is related to the overdoses of the three Holtville teens.
“If they took the same thing then there could be a chance they could be related, but I’m not sure,” Neujahr said.
Imperial County Behavioral Health Services provides Alcohol and Drug Treatment services at the El Centro Outpatient clinic and at nine on-campus school sites.
For more information, parents and members of the community can call the Imperial County Alcohol and Drug Adolescent Program at 760-353-0763.
Staff Writer Celeste Alvarez can be reached at 760-337-3442 or at email@example.com
To join the discussion and add your comments to this story, please click here to be directed to Facebook.