AUSTIN (KXAN) — Three different students at three different area high schools were charged with felonies after being found with prescription drugs on Tuesday. The cases are unrelated.
An 18-year-old male at McCallum High School was charged with possession of a controlled substance after police said they found nine Xanax pills hidden in his letterman jacket. According to an arrest warrant, a school nurse advised authorities about a student possibly being under the influence of the drugs. That student said he took a “green hulk” pill he received from the 18 year old in the parking lot.
Meanwhile at Reagan High School, a 17-year-old male student was also charged with possessing Xanax and marijuana after a school resource officer said he saw him leaving the campus and then returning minutes later. An affidavit said the student admitted to having “bars” when asked if he had anything illegal.
A 17-year-old student at Vandegrift High School (Leander ISD) was also charged with possession of a controlled substance when police said they found her with 1.3 grams of Vyvanse (an ADHD drug) after they were contacted concerning three students smoking marijuana in the bathroom.
Austin ISD Police Chief Eric Mendez said the district has done more than 100 periodic drug sweeps with narcotics canines, but prescription drugs are becoming an alternative to illicit drugs.
“A lot of people are turning to prescription medications because they are commonly found.”
Drugs like Vyvanse can be prescribed to help the learning process, but pharmacist Rannon Ching at Tarrytown Pharmacy said the classroom and prescribed drugs can be a dangerous combination if the drugs are not being used correctly.
“Let’s say their friend has ADHD and says to them ‘hey it helps me out, maybe it can help you out.” Some students might think the drug gives them an edge, according to Ching and prescription pills can often be taken out of larger bottles without detection.
Mendez said prescription drugs for students must be given to the school nurse to make sure the prescribed student gets the proper usage and dosage.
According to AISD, 61 students were caught using drugs last school year and 186 were caught with drugs on campus.
Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story identified the suspects.