The superintendent of Fishburne Military School says the overdose by several cadets this past weekend was scary and embarrassing. But the military prep school in Waynesboro hopes the case offers parents a hard and valuable lesson.
A total of five Fishburne cadets, all in their mid-teens, went to the hospital Friday night, and the last was released on Sunday. The school says they took large amounts of a common over-the-counter allergy drug that can cause heart and kidney problems, and even death if abused.
Dispatchers sent several ambulances to the school Friday night, after the five cadets overdosed on diphenhydramine. It's the main ingredient in many cold and allergy meds.
A case of mistaken luggage caused a Fishburne parent to put a bottle of the medicine in with their son's belongings. The school says it was just a half-hour later that the cadets made the fateful choice.
"Some of the kids decided they would try it," said Fishburne Military School Superintendent Gary Morrison. "Most of the kids got sleepy and sick. One of the kids had tried significantly more than the rest, and he had suffered some pretty serious and scary stuff that kept him in the hospital for two days."
Fishburne bars its students from keeping any medications in their dormitory rooms. Morrison urges parents to learn about the dangers of abusing even everyday drugs and the need to secure them.
As for the Fishburne cadets, all five have returned to the Waynesboro school. The superintendent says their actions are a "punishable offense" that will go before a disciplinary review board.
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