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Teen suspected of using “spice” found unresponsive at school

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Paramedics responded to Rio Rancho High School this afternoon shortly after 1 p.m. with reports that a 16-year-old male was under the influence of “spice,” a synthetic form of marijuana, according to Paul Bearce, spokesman for Rio Rancho Fire and Rescue.

Janet Garcia, spokeswoman for the Rio Rancho Police Department, said school resource officers found the boy unresponsive and called paramedics. She said the boy was responsive by the time paramedics arrived. Bearce said he does not know whether Spice was the reason for the boy’s medical condition but that the caller said the boy was under the influence of the drug. He said the log did not identify the caller.

The patient, he said, was transported to the hospital as a “non-emergency.”

Kim Vesely, spokeswoman for Rio Rancho Public Schools, would not comment on the specifics of the incident, citing medical privacy laws.

“We had a student with medical symptoms concerning enough to call paramedics,” she said. “It happened at lunch today but I can’t get into more specifics than that.”

Vesely said, in general, the school has seen a rise in students using synthetic marijuana. She said students who use the drug at school could face suspension. She added that a representative from the Drug Enforcement Agency met with district administrators earlier this month. “They specifically talked about how to recognize signs of a student using it,” she said. “And what it might look like.”

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