INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- More illegal drugs are making their way into central Indiana schools and into the hands of children.
“I wish that we could say this was shocking,” said Tami Silverman President of the Indiana Youth Institute.
Just this week, Knightstown school officials expelled a 5th-grade student after teachers found marijuana inside the student's locker.
In Miami County, police arrested 18-year-old Dylan Miller, accused of stealing 600 prescription pills from his mom-- stuffing them inside of his backpack and sneaking the drugs into the school. Officers say Miller took some of the drugs and gave muscle relaxants to another student who became extremely ill and was then rushed to the hospital.
“We are seeing that particularly with marijuana it is going a little bit younger and then prescription drugs we are seeing that the frequency and percentage is higher than what you may think it would be,” said Silverman.
The Indiana Youth Institute says drug use among Indiana teens continues to climb and the age that kids first try illicit drugs just keeps going down. According to a recent youth survey, more than three percent of all 6th graders in central Indiana say they have consumed alcohol in the past month. More than two percent report smoking marijuana. That number is more than the state average.
“Once you start doing something like that it can spiral and lead to other things,” said Silverman.
While marijuana remains the most commonly used substance amongst Indiana high school students, prescription drug use is also a huge problem. Silverman tells us that the average age of kids who misuse over-the-counter drugs start taking them by the age of 14.
The Indiana Youth Institute encourages parents to be vigilant and talk to their kids early about the dangers and consequences of drug use.
“I don’t think that because you know your kid’s friends and they seem like good kids that mean they will not come in contact with it at school,” said Silverman.
For more information on resources and talking points that you can discuss with your children about drug use and abuse, click here.