California school officials are warning parents about a new addictive street drug called “Paint.”
According to KOVR-TV, administrators at Mesa Verde High School in Citrus Heights sent a letter to parents regarding students secretly selling the pill, which reportedly has psychedelic effects.
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The station said that officials are urging parents to engage in a dialogue with their kids about Paint, especially as the drug has caused violent outbreaks at school.
“Please know that Mesa Verde High School Administration is actively investigating this concern and we are making progress. We are asking for your support and help,” the letter – which was obtained by CBS 13 Sacramento – said.
The drug, which allegedly sells for just $5 a pill, is described as clear with a reddish-brown dust.
The school’s leaders are asking for any additional information about Paint as they conduct their investigation.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly 841,000 people have died from a drug overdose since 1999.
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In 2019, 70,630 drug overdose deaths occurred in the U.S. and the agency also reported that rates of overdose deaths from all psychostimulants have been increasing since 2010.
More than 10,000 Americans died from an overdose involving psychostimulants with abuse potential in 2017.
Psychostimulants with abuse potential include both illicit drugs and prescription stimulants.
The CDC notes that substance use in teens can affect growth and brain development, as well as contribute to the development of adult health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure and sleep disorders.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends screening for substance use in children, starting at 9 years of age.
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Among 12th-graders, close to two in 10 reported using prescription medicine without a prescription.
The CDC says parents can help by talking to their teen’s pediatrician about screening for substance use.