Law enforcement was called to Neligh-Oakdale Schools on Wednesday and have confirmed the use of ambien by a student.
Principal George Loofe said Thursday morning faculty observed the impairment of a student on Wednesday. Loofe said faculty notified administration, who then called law enforcement and the student’s parents.
Neligh Police Chief Mike Wright said, “The student was determined to be under influence of a drug, which was determined to be ambien. The juvenile was not prescribed ambien, and it is against the law to take a prescription medication you are not prescribed as well as against the law to dispense a prescription drug to an individual who it is not prescribed.”
Both Loofe and Wright said no illegal substances were found on school grounds or on the individual. Loofe said the juvenile admitted to taking ambien.
Neligh-Oakdale administration is asking parents to discuss the dangers of using unprescribed drugs.
“We have had our suspicions, and this confirmed what drug is being used. We now have a handle on what is out there and what we are looking for,” Loofe said. “I hope this leads to discussion between students and parents about the dangers of drug use, and we are trying to hit this head on.”
Loofe said disciplinary action has taken place by the school. Wright said the Neligh Police Department is investigating the incident and charges may be filed.
According to Loofe, “Too much (ambien) renders a person with the appearance or behavior compared to being intoxicated. A side effect of taking too much is that a person would get sick to their stomach and vomit. This can be very dangerous as well as illegal. It is a very addictive drug and can be lethal. I urge you to visit with your children and explain the dangers.”