LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Only WINK cameras were there as one by one, some even carrying each other by the arm, 22 kids from the Oasis Youth Shelter walked into Health Park hospital, Monday night, suspected of a Triple overdose.
Lutheran Services runs the shelter, and tells WINK News, counselors caught the kids, after they began excessively throwing up.
WINK News confirmed four teenagers in all overdosed, and were released from the hospital.
The others, only checked for precaution.
Now the drug itself, Coricidin, is not illegal.
Sold in drug stores, it's used to treat colds, coughs and congestion, "the three c's"
But it's often abused.
"They are getting it to try and get high," said Doctor Timothy Dougherty, a toxicologist with Lee Memorial Healthcare System.
Doctor Dougherty says teens are after the main component dextromethorphan, which can cause halluncinations.
But it's the other symptoms that can cause serious damage.
"Their heart rate will go up, their blood pressure will go up, they can get very confused, their mouth will get very dry. they will lose the ability to urinate. there can be seizures," said Dougherty.
Sometimes even liver disease and death.
Now Lutheran Services tells WINK News, one teen, between the age of 15 and 17, was responsible for passing around the drug.
But in order to buy Coricidin, you must be 18.
So WINK News went undercover.
Here our hidden cameras show one pharmacist asking our reporter for id, even giving a warning with our receipt.
But still the medicine sits on a shelf, protected only by a plastic box you can carry to the counter.
So Doctor Dougherty says the best prevention, lies with parents.
"They are going into the medicine cabinet and finding it. so just like every time I have a conversation with parents, I say secure your medicines," said Dougherty.
WINK News checked and local law enforcement says they do not keep track of Triple C verdoses, because the drug is legal.
Doctor Dougherty says they see several cases a year, often in big groups.
In 2004, four students at Gulf Coast high school, got sick from taking too much Coricidin.