Less than a week after an Atlanta school principal sent out an alert to parents after a student brought a prescription drug used to treat an addiction to a drug-addicted parent, the same principal sent out a similar alert about another new addictive drug that he said was being sold on campus.
The drug is called KeyPure and is a prescription opioid that is not commercially sold but can be obtained over the internet. It is often sold in pill form or a liquid form, said Vicki Truitt, the assistant superintendent of communications for the San Ramon Valley Unified School District in California.
“We’re not sure who is selling it but we believe it is part of the illegal drug trade,” she said. “The schools are not taking action because we don’t want to put kids in danger.”
She said that her district did not know when the pill was brought on campus or how many young people have been given it.
“It’s a new drug and we do not have an answer to how it is getting onto our campuses,” she said. “You have a few kids bringing it and I’m certain the drug dealers are using them. We are monitoring them to see who they are purchasing it from, who it is coming from.”
Truitt said parents who want to see their children not get in trouble can speak to them about possible drug use. She said many districts use an automated phone call system to keep track of all students and keep them safe.
A week ago, the principal of Atlantic Aviation High School sent an alert to parents after a student brought a prescription drug used to treat an addiction to his drug-addicted father. The drug has been sold in pill form but can also be mixed with another drug such as heroin and is extremely potent, Principal Sherry Farrell told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an email.
“We believe that this drug has made its way onto the campus because a student knows that it is useful to a non-prescribed user, and because (the student) knows the other child and parents, and (the parent) is a regular user,” the note said.
Farrell, in the email, described the high-potency painkiller as a “prescription pain killer that is not commercially sold and is therefore hard to come by in a pharmacy.”
Farrell said a school safety official found a prescription pill in the student’s backpack, and notified school administrators. But, she said, no one reported it to law enforcement.
“We don’t know where the parent got the pill from,” she told the newspaper. “We do know the school is likely being used.”
The drug has been dubbed the “john” pill, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Losing children to drug abuse is an epidemic across the nation.
Last year, more than 14,000 children in the United States died of drug overdoses. The majority were from opioids, such as prescription painkillers and heroin.
Heroin is frequently sold under the moniker “John.” Heroin is made from a schedule I drug, the most dangerous category, and is similar to heroin. It has a high potential for abuse, but it is less potent than other drugs in the same category.