DEA Agent Talks About Drug Incident at Billings West High School
Was it a drug overdose incident? Was fentanyl involved? Those are questions we have been fielding. What we do know is that two Billings West High School students in Montana were hospitalized after ingesting drugs.
Josh Rath shared the news Wednesday that the Billings Police Department confirmed that two students were hospitalized after ingesting "dabs"- a marijuana product that is a highly concentrated form of THC.
We caught up with Stacy Zinn-Brittain, the head of the DEA in Montana, to help us tackle some of the big picture questions we have been receiving.
What are "dabs"?
Zinn-Brittain: In the past month I've done about 12 presentations to students in the rural area, and we talk about Dab in my presentation. And the students are already telling me that Dab is in their school. So we have kids, students across Montana, that are using this product to get high. And basically, just for your listener- DAB is a highly concentrated portion of the THC. It is extracted from the plant, use butane oil, and it can look like thick honey. But what these individuals will do is they'll place it into...they can put it in a pipe. Or they can put it like in what's called 'an oil rig.' They heat it up, and then they take a hit of it. Now the ideal is just to take one hit and you get very high very quickly. But kids aren't, there's no instructions. There's nothing on the back of the rig that's gonna say- 'take one hit and then put it down and walk away.' And that's what we're seeing is that these kids are taking multiple hits. They get this intense flood of THC in their system, which can eventually lead to like a rapid heartbeat, blackouts, loss of consciousness. But these kids are abusing the product and unfortunately this product is legal in our state.
Can you overdose from THC?
Stacy Zinn-Brittain: Technically, there has been one case study where they labeled that it was an overdose and that was recent. And it was a four year old that ate an edible, and they call that an overdose. And to then break it down even further, they couldn't determine exactly what made it overdose. So, in true fashion, there's word games. There is no actual cases out there where they're labeling it as overdosing. Now the kids will tell me, 'Oh, yes, I had a psychosis-type freakout session. I lost consciousness. I have...sometimes I blacked out.' So now we have to redefine what is actually overdose. But these people that are writing to you- technically they are right, because we are not labeling it as overdose.
Click below to hear our full conversation with Stacy Zinn-Brittain:
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