Four students at Grayson County High School taken to hospital after using device to vaporize hashish oil; two arrested

Four students at Grayson County High School in Leitchfield were taken to the local hospital Oct. 15, and two were arrested, after inhaling vapor or aerosol from “dab pen” devices, police said.

The Leitchfield Police Department said officers and ambulances were called to the school about after several students became ill after inhaling an “unknown substance” from the dab pens. The four students were treated and released at Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center.

“Dabbing,” sometimes called the “cannabis crack,” involves “highly concentrated marijuana in a vaporized form,” Billy Kobin reports for the Louisville Courier Journal. “According to the Center on Addiction, dabbing often involves inhaling or vaping a Tic Tac-sized drop of butane hash oil, a gooey liquid which contains a high concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana.

At least 12 students “had used the dab pens and were experiencing the same symptoms, according to Leitchfield police,” Kobin reports. “Additional details on the symptoms were not provided. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Center on Addiction, dabbing can result in symptoms that include rapid heartbeat, loss of consciousness and psychotic reactions like paranoia and hallucinations.”

After searching a Leitchfield residence, police said they located more of the substance found in the dab pen, Kobin reports: “Two juvenile suspects were arrested and charged in connection with the dabbing incident, according to Leitchfield police. The charges include 12 counts each of first-degree wanton endangerment and trafficking in a controlled substance, with additional charges pending.”

Kobin notes, “The Grayson County incident comes as health officials have reported over 1,000 cases nationwide of a lung illness that has been linked to vaping devices and e-cigarettes and has killed over two dozen people.”