WINTERVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – According to experts, more children are getting sick from eating marijuana edibles and using a vape. It’s happening state and nationwide, but also in Eastern North Carolina.
To try and prevent some of this from happening, Pitt County Schools partnered with Pitt County EMS, the Pitt County Health Department and ECU Health to host an interactive event with various skits about the dangers.
The scene opened up at a party where a student was offered and ate a marijuana gummy. The student got sick, was put in the hospital and then eventually died.
School officials said they wanted to have the event to show how serious these substances can be because they’ve seen the impacts locally.
“Our school nurses are having more referrals to their office who are maybe having symptoms to vaping and or ingestion of edibles that they’re not really sure what they contain,” said Laurie Reed, the school nurse manager for the ECU School Health Program. “We have had several EMS calls for the same type of episodes this year.”
Officials are also hoping this education will prevent bad habits from even starting.
“We do know that kids who start younger, their brain is still developing so it primes them for further addictions in the future,” said Tiffany Thigpen, the Pitt County Health Department Region 10 Tobacco and Control coordinator.
For the students, they said they were learning.
“People just think, ‘oh it’s weed, it’s gonna be fine,’ but then it’s not or they don’t react to it how they expect,” said Emerson Fipps, a participant in the skit and South Central High School senior. “It’s really good middle schoolers are getting information about it now.”
“Don’t do drugs and try to stop yourself from smoking,” said Dillon Hassell, an A.G. Cox Middle School student about the event. “If you are, try as hard as you can to quit.”