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Overdose at Cudahy High School leads to arrest

Jan. 12, 2010

Cudahy — A Cudahy High School student was arrested on a felony drug charge last month after admitting he gave Xanax to a student who suffered a nonfatal overdose during school, a Cudahy police report says.

The Cudahy superintendent said Tuesday that the incident was isolated but that the school district is stepping up efforts to alert students and parents about the dangers of prescription drugs.

The incident occurred Dec. 3, nine months after the death of Madison Kiefer, a Whitefish Bay High School freshman who overdosed on two prescription drugs at a friend's house.

Cudahy police said they withheld their report until this week because they were trying to determine whether the arrested student may have been involved in other incidents.

According to the report:

The student who took the drugs, a 17-year-old Cudahy boy, said he obtained the drugs at school from the suspect, a 17-year-old St. Francis boy, about 10:30 a.m. Dec. 3.

The Cudahy boy said the suspect dropped four or five pills into his water bottle and told him they were Xanax, which is used to treat panic disorder.

The Cudahy boy said he then drank from the water bottle.

About two hours later, a police officer who works at the school was summoned to the school office and found the Cudahy boy "shaking very badly." The Fire Department responded and determined that the boy's vital signs showed his condition was not life-threatening.

Later at St. Francis Hospital, the Cudahy boy told the police that the St. Francis boy told him he gave him the pills to cover a $5 debt for a previous drug transaction. The Cudahy boy said he blacked out after drinking the water.

Prosecutors have not yet decided whether to file charges against the St. Francis boy, Detective Sgt. Dala Milosavljevic said.

Cudahy Superintendent Jim Heiden said the arrested student transferred to another school after the school district started expulsion proceedings.

Heiden said the incident is an isolated case and that "We don't view this as a major issue for the district."

However, he said prescription drug abuse by students is a serious threat to all school districts and the Cudahy district plans to offer education sessions for parents on the issue later this year.

Alcohol and drug crisis line

The Medical College of Wisconsin operates the mPower crisis line, which is for anyone under age 21 who is in an alcohol- or drug-related crisis. The telephone line offers anonymity and "non-judgmental help" 24 hours per day. The line can be contacted with a telephone call or through a text message. For a voice conversation, call (866) 661-6797; for help via text, send a text to 55358.More information is at www.mpowersupport.com.

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