An 18-year-old Florida man remains in critical condition Friday after he and six other young people reportedly snorted dog medication, inhaled butane, smoked marijuana, ate mushrooms and took over-the-counter cold medicine.
Lee County Sheriff's Office spokesperson John Sheehan said officers responded early Thursday morning to a medical assistance call at 1:40 a.m. at an apartment in the Forestwood complex in Ft. Myers, Fla. after a neighbor called 911.
"When we arrived it was obvious they were under the influence," Sheehan said. "It was bunch of teenagers that were hanging out and using poor judgment."
According to police reports, Melinda Santos-Rios, 30, had arrived home from work when she heard someone in the apartment next door say, "He's not moving."
Rios told police she ran next door and everyone inside "seemed to be really out of it," so she called 911.
All seven were rushed to local area hospitals early Thursday morning. The 18-year-old man was the only one who overdosed on the strange drug concoction, according to Lee County police.
The six other victims, including 16-year-old Mariah Miles, who hosted the get-together, were treated and released from the hospital Thursday. Aside from Miles, the others were between the ages of 18 and 20.
The police report said the kids "were transported because they had mulitple drugs in their system ranging from Benadryl, to shrooms, to acid, to clonapin [sic] and marijuana."
Spokesman Sheehan said no drugs were found inside the home.
"All I know is there were multiple illegal drugs found in the system of each person and there were some that were not illegal," he said.
Mariah Miles told ABC affiliate WZVN in Ft. Myers that she and her friends were just hanging out while her mother was at work.
"I didn't think anything about it," she said. "I did weed and Klonopin."
According to police, the neighbor had already called 911 by the time Mariah's mother, Melissa Miles, who rents the apartment, came home and found a terrifying scene.
Miles said she found the teens had gotten into anything they could get their hands on.
"Klonopin, Valium, they got into my dog's drugs," Melissa said, adding that the steroids and parasite medication for her dog Lucky were also gone.
Sheehan said the investigation is still ongoing and no charges have been filed at this point.
This incident is another in a trend in which adolescents raid their parents' medicine cabients to get high from over-the-counter and prescription medications.
A recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that one high school student in five has taken a prescription drug without a doctor's order.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration found in another recent study that prescription drug abuse has increased 400 percent between 1998 and 2008.
"In a way it's a good news/bad news story," said Peter Delany, director of the Office of Applied Studies at SAMHSA, who conducted the study. "People are getting treatment, which is good news. But the bad news is the problem just keeps growing.
"People look at these medications and because it's a prescription, they don't think it's as dangerous," he said.