Ben Hill County 8-year old caught giving out prescription drugs - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Ben Hill County 8-year old caught giving out prescription drugs

By  Stephanie Springer  - bio | email

FITZGERALD, GA (WALB) –A shocking story in Ben Hill County where an eight year old boy was caught giving out prescription pills to his school mates.

The sheriff says the second grader's actions reflect a growing problem in our schools and parents need to step it up to keep ALL drugs out of their kids hands.

Sheriff Bobby McLemore says prescription drugs are making their rounds at most schools in the county.

He estimates that one third of all seventh and eight graders in Ben Hill County are either selling or illegally using prescription drugs.

While it's a problem that may seem overwhelming, its an issue that we as parents must get a handle on before it's too late.

It's the number one drug of choice, for both young and old.

"From 1995 to 2000 we have had a 500 percent increase in prescription drug abuse," said Sheriff Bobby McLemore

Prescription drugs that often end up in the hands of the wrong people or in this case children.

"Our middle school has a lot of drugs in it, our elementary school and primary schools are dangerous ages for children to be in possession of dangerous drugs," said McLemore.

Sheriff Bobby McLemore says drug agents are cracking down on prescription drug abuse just recently making 8 arrests in connection with prescription drugs.

"If you are selling drugs in Ben Hill county look out we are coming for you," said McLemore.

But just recently came across a case, that was rather disturbing.

"These pills right here were given away by the youngest drug dealer we've encountered in Ben Hill county" said McLemore.

The Sheriff says a Ben Hill County Primary School second grader brought a bag full of pills to school, and gave a couple pills away to his friends.

"In this package we have some 600 ibuprofen, some heart pills and an unidentified white pill," said McLemore.

But thanks to the work of alert teachers, the eight year old was caught before any pills were ingested.

"If a child would have taken one of these heart pills, there is a great chance he would become seriously ill or even dead," said McLemore.

Something an eight year old child doesn't understand.

"He saw other people do it so it was more a role play on his part no realizing the dangers these pills represented when taken by a child," said McLemore.

Just last Month a Ben Hill County middle school student almost lost his life due to just one prescription drug.

"An Oxycontin was placed inside this candy and given to a middle schoolers who ended up in ICU fighting for his life," said McLemore.

But the Sheriff is confident if everyone works together, we can make a difference in this growing trend.

The Sheriff recommends treating your prescriptions drugs as you do a weapon, keep them locked up out of their view, even if you don't suspect your child even knows you take pills.

Also let your children know if they are given any pills at school, do not take them. Also report to teachers if they see children with any types of pills.

The Sheriff says the eight year old child was charged with possession of a controlled substance.

The Principal of Ben Hill County Primary School says he hopes one incident like this does not overshadow all the good at public schools.

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