Lee County schools sees spike in THC oil and vape pens

Drugs in the classroom.

It is not the setting parents like Denise Irizarry want to hear about for her teenage daughter.

“It’s alarming and scary,” Irizarry said.

Her daughter’s school, Fort Myers high, had two drug busts so far this school year. These represent two of nearly 100 in the entire School District of Lee County.

“I’m actually not surprised based on everything else is going on,” Crystal Zavala said, a parent. “It has a lot to do with the parents and the teachers here but at the same time they’re at that age. It’s peer pressure.”

Police and sheriff deputies tell WINK News it is mostly marijuana kids are sneaking into schools. Recently, it has seen a spike in THC oil, which is a concentrated form of marijuana, and vape pens.

Drugs confiscated at schools. Photo via WINK News.
Drugs confiscated in schools. Photo via WINK News.

“None of our local schools are immune to it,” Steven Hill said, a director of residential programs at SalusCare. “We’ve seen kids from every school who are involved in substance use and a lot of them are doing them in school.”

Hill helps teens with substance abuse issues at SalusCare. He said, schools and parents need to work together to combat the problem.

“Just educate kids,” Hill said, “because I would want it to come from me than a peer that’s trying to get them involved in drugs.”

And parents like Irizarry agree it starts with what’s happening at home.

“We are the foundation of these children,” Irizarry said. “If we don’t teach our kids they won’t know how to stay away.”

Reporter:Taylor Petras
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