Columbus North students hospitalized after smoking "Spice"

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An investigation is underway in Columbus after four students smoking "Spice" went to school and had to be rushed to the hospital.

The students are all from Columbus North High School. They should have learned lessons at school, instead they learned something painful in the emergency room.

"We've had friends who (overdosed) from smoking it before," said a group of young people, all over 18, we met across from the ER.

They don't know the four Columbus North teens who admitted they smoked the designer drug "Spice" then went to school Wednesday.

"Another student in the room walked up to the teacher and said, 'I think somebody is sick'," said Larry Perkinson, a student assistance counselor with Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation.

The four students all had high blood pressure, trembling hands and panic attacks.

"When I went out to the hospital and met with one of the mothers and one of the students, he was just leaving the hospital," said State Rep. Milo Smith (R-Columbus).

Smith went to the hospital because he helped write the new law banning those kinds of drugs in Indiana.

"I said, 'Where did you get it?' He said, 'I went to the fast food restaurant across the street and some student gave it to me yesterday.' Just gave it to him," said Smith

The law bans sales of Spice and other synthetic drugs here, even when makers try to change the chemical makeup. Schools say they haven't really seen the drugs since the new law.

"It's also still not disappeared," said Perkinson. "There was stuff that wasn't sold that's been out there. Even online you can see how to make your own stuff."

That's true, according to the young men gathered outside the hospital Wednesday.

"There are still gas stations that will sell it under the table and also people who know how to grow it. They spray it with chemicals," said Savon Weber.

"That's why they're in the hospital. It's pretty much like smoking ground-up incense. That's what they're smoking, they don't even realize it," said Copeland Christie.

The school is now working with the students and parents to get the kids drug-free.