Seven Virginia elementary school students ingested gummy bears laced with apparent fentanyl and five of them received medical treatment, officials said.
The children ingested the gummy bears Tuesday in Central Elementary School in Amherst, a town with less than 2,300 residents, Amherst County Public Schools administrators said. Two of the student’s parents took them to receive medical treatment while Amherst County EMS transferred three of them.
The Amherst County Sheriff’s Office conducted a field test on the candy bag and discovered it was positive for fentanyl,
“We have confirmed that the bag was brought from home by a student,” the school also said.
Two people – Nicole Sanders and Clifford Dugan – are in custody over the incident, according to local TV station WSLS 10. Sanders has been charged with contributing to delinquency, child abuse and drug possession, while Dugan was charged with contributing to delinquency, child abuse and possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.
The students’ conditions are unclear at this time.
The incident comes after the Drug Enforcement Administration issued a warning last year on what it called the “alarming emerging trend” of rainbow fentanyl “made to look like candy to children and young people.” Meanwhile, the DEA said in another report that six out of 10 fake prescription pills it tested contained a potentially lethal fentanyl dose. Earlier this year, the group Families Against Fentanyl found that U.S. children under the age of 14 are dying from fentanyl at a faster rate than any other age group.