County sees unusual spike in drug overdoses involving local teenagers


IMPERIAL COUNTY – The Imperial County Public Health Department announced today that it has detected an unusual spike in drug overdoses involving eight teenagers. The incidents occurred in two different communities, but both reportedly involved a combination of marijuana and prescription drugs. The marijuana in one of the incidents was reported to be laced with an unknown white substance. It is unknown if the incidents are related.  

Eight teenagers, who range in age from 14 to 17 years, were taken to the emergency department at a local hospital earlier this week because of drug overdoses. Three Holtville teens were seen in the emergency department on Monday, and five teens, four of whom reside in Calexico, were transported by ambulance to the hospital Wednesday night. Three of the teenagers are in serious condition and were transferred to a specialty hospital. Imperial County Behavioral Health Services notified school district counseling staff of the drug overdoses.

“It is unfortunate that this has happened to students in our community. These incidents remind us of the importance that parents to keep the lines of communication open with their children and discuss the dangerous effects of drugs, and the long-term consequences of an overdose,” stated Michael Horn, Director, Imperial County Behavioral Health Services.

Dr. Munday, Public Health Officer, stated, “It is important for our community to know the health risks associated with the illegal use of prescription drugs. Although prescription drugs can be easier to get from a person’s medicine cabinet, or on the internet, it doesn’t make them any less dangerous than street drugs. Combining street drugs and illegal drugs is extremely dangerous.”

Imperial County Behavioral Health Services provides Alcohol and Drug Treatment services at the El Centro Outpatient clinic and at nine on campus school sites. For more information parents and the community can call 760-353-0763.