2 students overdose on synthetic marijuana, Aldine ISD officials say

Compass Alternative School students rushed to hospital by ambulance

By Andy Cerota - Anchor/Reporter

HOUSTON - Aldine ISD officials say two students at Compass Alternative School had to be rushed to the hospital by ambulance after they overdosed on synthetic marijuana.

Whether it's trying the latest designer street drug, playing the choking game or taking the fire challenge, it seems more members of the YouTube generation are endangering their lives by engaging in risky behavior.

"They just want attention. They just want their friends to like them more," said David, a 17-year-old who knows all about pushing the boundaries.

David started drinking alcohol at 9 years old. By the time he was a teenager, David was smoking weed, snorting cocaine and popping prescription pills.

"You move on to different drugs. You get tired of that high, you know? You want something else, stronger," David said.

Social media sites have become incredibly effective tools, not only for making drug deals but for glamorizing outrageous, often dangerous behavior.

"So when you're engaging in these behaviors, you're not thinking I could possibly die from it," said Constance Phillips, admission manager at Odyssey House.

Peer pressure has been around forever but the dynamics have evolved. Mental health experts said the tactics parents use to stay involved in their kids' lives must change and evolve too. Spotting the warning signs means they have to go beyond just monitoring their activities and interests, or asking questions and checking their social media accounts.

"Stay connected at the school. Even if your kid is not in and out of the office with the ap. Just staying in touch with the schools, you will learn what those trends are within your community," said Helena Washington, a Houston-area clinical consultant.

Time at the Odyssey House -- a live-in drug treatment center for Houston-area teens -- has helped David get back on the straight and narrow. Honesty has been just as effective.

"If you just sit down and have a moment of truth with them, tell them something about yourself you haven't told your kids," David said.

Aldine ISD said one student was released from the hospital Tuesday and the other student was released Wednesday. Both are recovering at home.

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