Almost a dozen teenagers from Indiana have been hospitalized over a reported case of consuming drug-laced gummy bears. Local authorities conducting an investigation call the incident a wake-up call for parents and teenagers.
The teenager who called 911 on late evening of July 6, Thursday, was waiting at the side of the road when local authorities in LaPorte, Indiana, responded to the call. The 19-year-old then admitted to the police that he felt sick after ingesting an unknown drug and would like to go to the emergency room.
The teen was experiencing hallucinations, pain in his leg, rapid heart rate, and blurred vision, and informed the police that he had peers in the same area who had also taken the drug. Police then found ten other teenagers experiencing the same symptoms in a nearby residence.
The emergency responders were not immediately aware of what the teens consumed, but the teens admitted to sharing six gummy bears, with each individual eating half of the candy.
"You know I'll tell you that in 31 years on the job I've never seen that many people affected by eating a gummy bear," said Captain Mike Kellems of the LaPorte County Sheriff's Department.
The 11 teens were admitted to a local hospital where their heartrates were found to be over 200 and their laboratory results showed extremely high levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). THC is an active ingredient commonly found in marijuana.
The 11 teenagers, six of whom are male and five were female, were treated and released by Friday morning, July 7.
Captain Kellems states their confidence that the teenagers were aware that they were not consuming regular gummy bears, as the candies were of larger size and were pre-induced with the drug. As such, he is calling this incident a wake-up call to both parents and teenagers, especially since they were likely unaware of the severity of what they were getting into.
Further, he stated that the gummy bears in question were probably induced with another drug apart from the high dose of THC and were likely to have been bought out of state. The half gummy bear left uneaten has already been sent to the laboratory for testing.
As of now, it is unclear if anyone will face any criminal charges.
What Is THC?
THC is the main psychoactive ingredient in cannabis and is responsible for the pleasurable intoxication or "high." Because of its similarity in structure to the brain chemical anandamide, THC is recognized by the body, allowing it to alter normal brain function and communication.