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Mother, Daughter Face Drug Charges For Ibuprofen At School

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the zero-tolerance-and-common-sense dept.

Education 34

Officials at a middle school in Georgia were searching a girl's purse after being tipped off she was carrying a knife, but they didn't find a weapon. They found something just as bad, ibuprofen. Not the usual 200mg pills, but the big 800mg variety. An investigation revealed that the girl had received the pills from her mother, who got the medication from Martin Army Community Hospital. Police then charged the mother with distributing a dangerous drug, while her daughter was only charged with possession. There's no telling what deviant acts a 12-year-old might commit under the influence of four Advil.

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34 comments

Ahh. Good old Army Motrin. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34564452)

800mg is how the army rolls.

Once, when I was a private on a company 25 mile road march (I had the M60), the medic handed me 4 motrins.

It was 3 in the morning, and I was pretty beat. We probably had 10 miles left to go. Not knowing any better, I downed all 4 with a swig of nasty canteen water.

Turns out the medics were handing them out to every 4 troops, so we could distribute them. I didn't even know they came that big.

3200mg of ibuprofen does wonders.

Re:Ahh. Good old Army Motrin. (3, Informative)

markbark (174009) | more than 3 years ago | (#34564860)

Well.. the maximum recommended dose for ibuprofen is 1200mg.
OD's aren't _too_ dangerous, usually limiting themselves to stomach upset and nosebleeds.
In massive overdoses (greater than100mg/kg of body weight), it whacks your blood potassium levels, causing arrhythmia and possible cardiac arrest.
Massive OD's also toast your kidneys to a delicate crunch. {grin}

Re:Ahh. Good old Army Motrin. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34580682)

1200 mg is for over the counter. 4x800 taken at once would require a physician to prescribe but still at the adult level.

That said... much safer than acetaminophen.

Re:Ahh. Good old Army Motrin. (1)

GooberToo (74388) | more than 3 years ago | (#34590876)

the medic handed me 4 motrins.

"Good 'ol vitamin-M", as my soldier friends would say.

3200mg of ibuprofen does wonders.

Ya...on your kidneys. Most studies suggest high likelihood of kidney damage from such large doses.

JESUS! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34565926)

She's 12, she may have started her menses, she could be in a LOT of PAIN! Total Bullshit the USA has turned into.

Re:JESUS! (1)

Stregano (1285764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34567810)

I am pretty confident that a chunk of this going down is because they are 800mg pills. These are not advil we are talking about. These are prescription grade pills. The mother is in the wrong for giving those to her child. I do think the charges against the kid should be dropped though. Also, they do not explain why she has these pills with her. If they are already searching her for a knife, that means right then and there that there is something else going on that you are not being told and you are also assuming this 12 year old is raised in a white picket fence community and "the big evil" is just out to get her. The drugs were also gotten from a community hospital, which again says lower income.

Do not assume all kids are innocent, as I had friends that started smoking cigs in the 7th grade and hid it from their parents very well. Do you honestly think people will be tipping off security about a good kid bringing a knife to school?

Prescription drugs are as dangerous as illegal drugs to a young person. What is happening is that even through their teen years, their mind is still growing and developing, and certain drugs can stunt that growth. I am pretty sure that ibuprofen is not one of them, but when you are 12 years old, why in the hell are you walking around with 800mg ibuprofen. There is no way that her and her mom were oblivious to the fact since most standard, off the shelf ibuprofen pills are only 200mg. Something else was going on and I think you were too quick to assume the kid was innocent in this case

Re:JESUS! (1)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 3 years ago | (#34568646)

Be ready for my once a week "go against the crowd" comment which will automatically get me a -1 no matter what

Works better if you post in a section more than 20 people read.

Re:JESUS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34568656)

800mg ibuprofen??? BFD. It's the same as 4 OTC pills. ALL that does is make it more convenient. Doesn't make 2 shits of a difference chemically. If she'd had a whole bottle of OTC, she coulda taken 20 of them at once and gotten 2000mg in her system. It's like saying "Don't eat a pound and a quarter of sugar in one day... but its ok to drink a 12 pack of Mt. Dew.", even though its the exact same amount of sugar.

And bringing in the the bit about 'innocence' and smoking cigarettes and doing drugs is a total non sequiter. Ibuprofen has NO abuse potential... at all. You don't feel it working. If you do, you probably took wayyy to much and you're feeling your liver die. I'm 100% sure her mom gave her that for cramps. Periods are a bitch, and sometimes 4 advil is what it takes. 1 800mg scrip pill is alot easier to swallow.

Re:JESUS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34569700)

I too, thought that something else was going on that we weren't being told about. Interestingly, unlike you I didn't jump to the conclusion that she was some sort of Bad Seed, but rather took the opposite view that she was more or less being set up/persecuted in some way either by classmates or by school administrators. This isn't the first time I've heard a story about some kid getting treated like a drug dealer for highly concentrated ibuprofin, and it's just as stupid as it was the last time. As you pointed out, these aren't advil. In the last case I heard about, it was Advil, but the prescription 800mg kind, like the Motrin pills from this case. So, taking these pills is like taking 4 regular advil, or 4 regular Motrin.

The reason this is just stupid should be fairly obvious. Taking one of these pills isn't too much ibuprofen, even for a twelve year old girl. Taking two might be, sure. The article didn't really say how many she had. I'll assume that she had a typical portable motrin bottle. The reason the pills are prescription, even though the drug is an over the counter, is because of the concentration in one pill. I get that. We all get that. But the simple fact is that the active ingredient is exactly the same stuff that's in regular over the counter ibuprofen. Despite that, even if, for example, all of the pills were cut into quarters, she'd still be in trouble because they're still quartered bits of a prescription only pill, and it seems like the school administrators were just looking for any excuse to nail her, either because they have a grudge against her in particular, or just a grudge against all of their students. Consider that, if she'd had a jumbo-sized bottle of regular ibuprofin with twenty times as many pills, she wouldn't have had a prescription medication, even though she would have had five times as much of the actual drug. The school probably would have looked for some way to nail her under school rules anyway, but it wouldn't have been a criminal case.

Also, we are aware that ibuprofen can kill you if you take too much of it. Then again, so can caffeine, and there's probably several lethal doses available in the schools soda machines. Lots of things can kill you if you're not careful with them, and it can be argued that a twelve year old isn't responsible enough to be trusted with such things. But don't miss the crucial point that this girl did NOT do anything unsafe with these ibuprofen pills, or we would have heard about it.

Re:JESUS! (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 3 years ago | (#34572406)

There's a risk that someone who's used to taking the regular type might end up accidentally taking a double or quadruple dose. But 1) that's unlikely to be fatal[1] and 2) is such a corner case that it's very unlikely to happen. A good telling off and a lecture about how it's the portion that makes the poison should have been enough in this case.

[1] I'm still here, having taken 400mg ones roughly every 4 hours when I had a dental abscess. And yes, i had read the instructions. It fucking hurt!

Re:JESUS! (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584494)

IIRC 800mg is considered a prescription dose.
800mg is the standard prescription for broken bones, torn ligaments, etc.

Re:JESUS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34590806)

So if you take it with a prescription when you have a broken leg it won't harm you, but if you take it without one for toothache or girley pains it will? If not what is your point exactly?

Re:JESUS! (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34591094)

My point exactly is that possession of prescription only dose sizes is illegal without a prescription.

Why is that so hard to understand?

Now admittedly the whole store was a huge troll, failing to even mention that 800mg dose is prescription only, but by the time you get to this part of the thread you should realize that there was a violation of law here, not just some school policy.

Re:JESUS! (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34571602)

It's IBUPROFEN. Zero abuse potential, zero buzz. It can give you a bellyache but I don't know anyone who considers that recreational. I know when I was 12, I was quite capable of following instructions for medication (prescription or otherwise).

Whatever bright light decided drug charges were needed for this should be horsewhipped and then denied any sort of analgesic. Now, go call your mom and ask her to tell you without looking at a bottle how many mg are in a regular Motrin. I had to look at a bottle in my desk, I certainly don't memorize that sort of thing.

The mother should be warned that those are prescription strength. The mother's friend should get a warning about dispensing any prescription drug (even motrin) without a prescription. That should be the end of the matter.

Re:JESUS! (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584510)

It's IBUPROFEN. Zero abuse potential, zero buzz. It can give you a bellyache but I don't know anyone who considers that recreational. I know when I was 12, I was quite capable of following instructions for medication (prescription or otherwise).

Whatever bright light decided drug charges were needed for this should be horsewhipped and then denied any sort of analgesic. Now, go call your mom and ask her to tell you without looking at a bottle how many mg are in a regular Motrin. I had to look at a bottle in my desk, I certainly don't memorize that sort of thing.

The mother should be warned that those are prescription strength. The mother's friend should get a warning about dispensing any prescription drug (even motrin) without a prescription. That should be the end of the matter.

I'm pretty sure this has nothing to do with the law and everything to do with the schools zero tolerance policy.

That being said, 800mg is a prescription level. And if the pills were 800mg, there is no way the kid could have taken less (unless she was instructed to bite them in half), so she would technically need a prescription to have tabs that big.

And equal dose in standard 200mg tabs would not require a prescription.

Note that you might be prescribed 800mg if you were on the wrong end of a knife fight, so maybe this kid had a reason for carrying them, even if she did ditch the knife.

Re:JESUS! (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584926)

According to TFA, the bottle contained 11 and a half pills.

As for the rest, huh? No evidence of a knife at all, much less of a knife injury. Where did that come from?

Re:JESUS! (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584564)

It's IBUPROFEN. Zero abuse potential, zero buzz. It can give you a bellyache but I don't know anyone who considers that recreational.

You seem to be suffering under the delusion that the only reason for making certain drugs prescription only, is their potential for abuse for recreational purposes.

Re:JESUS! (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 3 years ago | (#34584918)

Actually, no. It's just one of the few things that would even make a twisted sort of sense out of the situation.

Other reasons to make the drugs prescription are cases where a normal dose could do a great deal of harm should the person be mis-diagnosed or just unlucky or in the case of antibiotics, widespread misuse could render them useless (ooops, looks like doctors didn't handle that much better!).

None of those apply. That just leaves overdose, but it's not much harder to OD on OTC ibuprofen.

Then, there's the question of the mother knowing (or not) that those ibuprofen were 4 times stronger. Note that the Army hands those out for practically any complaint of pain or minor inflammation.

In any event, it's just plain stupid to get the law involved when the mother could have giver her daughter regular advil and told her to take 4 and nobody would have cared. Prosecution isn't the answer to everything.

Re:JESUS! (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34578276)

Also, they do not explain why she has these pills with her.

Because her mother gave them to her? D'oh.

If they are already searching her for a knife, that means right then and there that there is something else going on that you are not being told and you are also assuming this 12 year old is raised in a white picket fence community and "the big evil" is just out to get her. The drugs were also gotten from a community hospital, which again says lower income.

Really? Because someone goes to an Army hospital they are automatically "lower income"? And "lower income" is relevant to this problem exactly how, again?

Do you honestly think people will be tipping off security about a good kid bringing a knife to school?

Yes. "Good kids" are often ratted on by people who don't like them, and often it is the "bad kids" who don't like the good ones. Sometimes the people who don't like "good kids" make stuff up. That's why they're called "bad kids".

Prescription drugs are as dangerous as illegal drugs to a young person.

You are one of the "all drugs are drugs" crowd, I see. No difference between an OTC pain medicine and morphine, right?

...but when you are 12 years old, why in the hell are you walking around with 800mg ibuprofen.

Because she had a headache and her mother gave it to her? Because she is 12 years old, getting her first periods and is suffering from abdominal cramping with pain like she's never felt before. D'oh.

Something else was going on and I think you were too quick to assume the kid was innocent in this case

And I think you are too quick with the assumption she's a drug addicted homeless weapons dealer. You only left out "scumbag pimp" and "radical right-wing abortion clinic bomber."

Having an 800mg Ibuprofen in your pocket is hardly earth-shattering, and this is absolutely an overreaction.

Re:JESUS! (2)

RockDoctor (15477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34582278)

There is no way that her and her mom were oblivious to the fact since most standard, off the shelf ibuprofen pills are only 200mg. Something else was going on and I think you were too quick to assume the kid was innocent in this case

FYI - in this country, the UK, 400mg Ibuprofen are an off-the-shelf product.

Too much (1)

zdepthcharge (1792770) | more than 3 years ago | (#34567140)

So glad I don't live in the U.S. anymore. You'll find idiots everywhere, but I notice a distinct lack of "teach children to be fearful and paranoid" going on where I live now.

The list of contraindications and side effects... (3, Insightful)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34567538)

The list of contraindications and possible side effects for prescription-strength ibuprofen is alarming. It is long and includes things to look for like "vomit that looks like coffee grounds". There are mood-altering substances with much shorter lists, like valium (diazepam).

Under the care of a physician, the maximum daily dose for an adult is 3.2 grams, and otherwise 1.2 grams. The maximum daily dosage for a 12-year-old is about 40 mg per kg of body mass.

There are a lot more serious drugs the kid could have been found to have, but there are laws about prescription medications. They are to be possessed and taken by the prescribed party and kept in a labelled container.

This should probably have resulted in a warning and in info packet being sent home, but schools have gone zero-tolerance crazy. The state does have a right to prosecute since this was technically illegal, but hopefully a good judge just sees that the lesson was learned.

Re:The list of contraindications and side effects. (1)

Obfuscant (592200) | more than 3 years ago | (#34578060)

There are mood-altering substances with much shorter lists, like valium (diazepam).

Are there mood-altering side effects to Ibuprofen? If not, then it is irrelevant what the list of side-effects of a mood-altering drug are compared to Ibuprofen. She wasn't taking Ibuprofen for the side-effects.

The maximum daily dosage for a 12-year-old is about 40 mg per kg of body mass.

It is alleged that the CDC tables show the average weight for a 12 year old girl is 94 pounds. That's 43kg. The maximum dose is therefor 1700 mg. That's twice the amount in the pills she had.

There are a lot more serious drugs the kid could have been found to have, but there are laws about prescription medications.

Making Ibuprofen a prescription drug is stupid, other than for political or financial reasons. E.g., insurance will pay for your prescription drugs and not OTC. Do you really imagine that someone who wants to take 800mg of Ibuprofen will be prevented from doing so just because that size is prescription?

The state does have a right to prosecute since this was technically illegal, but hopefully a good judge just sees that the lesson was learned.

Yes, and that lesson was that she should have taken four of the 200mg size pills, with any associated stomach problems from the additional fillers. I was once prescribed the 800mg Ibuprofens and I asked the doctor why I would not just take four of the 200mg size I already had on the shelf. His answer was that there was more of a chance of stomach issues with the four pills than with the one large one. He wound up handing me some Celebrex samples and they were a miracle.

Re:The list of contraindications and side effects. (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 3 years ago | (#34581912)

You miss the point about comparing it to mood-altering drugs. I mentioned mood-altering drugs because the list of side effects and warnings for any psychoactive drug is usually long. Ibuprofen's is longer than many of those.

1700mg? That's not twice what she had. That's a little more than twice what one tablet contained. She had 11.5 tablets. You don't need to send your kid to school with 23 times the maximum daily dose for the kid to make it through the day.

I'm not familiar with the particular district, but if the label had been on the bottle and it had said ibuprofen, then all the fuss might not have been caused. The reason the label is required to be there is to make it easier to identify the drugs. The school's staff probably couldn't be sure what the tablets were without the label listing the drug name and tablet description. They're not healthcare workers. Imagine if they had said she was free to roam the halls with the bottle of unidentified tablets and they turned out to be oxycodone or something.

Re:The list of contraindications and side effects. (1)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 3 years ago | (#34586212)

The state does have a right to prosecute since this was technically illegal, but hopefully a good judge just sees that the lesson was learned.

My guess is that it won't even get to a judge; they've probably just given the mother a large ticket. It's all about revenue for the police nowadays.

What the fuck... (1)

Stone2065 (717387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34570328)

What CRACKHEAD wrote THIS law??? Not only is this sheer idiocy, but borders on Nazi-like behavior. This is OVER THE COUNTER meds not “drugs”, per se at least not as far as any NORMAL definition of the goddamn word is. “Drugs”, as far as MOST legal definitions go, refer to things like marijuana, heroin, cocaine, etc. WHEN did ibuprofen become a “dangerous drug”? Several years ago, when wisdom teeth were coming in and I had no dental insurance, I was taking 3000mg every 3 hours yes, ever 3 hours. That means a small bottle a DAY to combat the pain. Wow pretty goddamn dangerous as I’m sitting here typing this goddamn rant out afterwards. I didn’t see what state it’s in, but you can bet your ass it’s far from mine unless it’s California.

Re:What the fuck... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34572992)

What CRACKHEAD wrote THIS law??? Not only is this sheer idiocy, but borders on Nazi-like behavior. This is OVER THE COUNTER meds not “drugs”, per se at least not as far as any NORMAL definition of the goddamn word is. “Drugs”, as far as MOST legal definitions go, refer to things like marijuana, heroin, cocaine, etc. WHEN did ibuprofen become a “dangerous drug”?

Several years ago, when wisdom teeth were coming in and I had no dental insurance, I was taking 3000mg every 3 hours yes, ever 3 hours. That means a small bottle a DAY to combat the pain. Wow pretty goddamn dangerous as I’m sitting here typing this goddamn rant out afterwards. I didn’t see what state it’s in, but you can bet your ass it’s far from mine unless it’s California.

While I agree with the general point of your post - your comment reads like a Daily Mail headline. Do you talk like that in real life?

"Could you PLEASE pass me the SALT, mother? I NEED it to SEASON my FOOD."

From personal experience. (1)

masterwit (1800118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34575614)

My uncle who has had a knee replacement and two artificial hips (among other issues) has taken ibuprofen for a long time.

He didn't always take it with food as instructed. Well this landed him in the hospital ~6-7 months ago for major stomach ulcers/bleeding. Doctors are 95%+ sure it was ibuprofen. He still takes the drug today, just on a full stomach.

800mg for a little girl is pretty steep, that is usually prescribed in the wake of chronic pain associated with a surgery/etc.

There's no telling what deviant acts a 12-year-old might commit under the influence of four Advil.

4 of those...I would call poison control immediately.

Re:From personal experience. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34577592)

You have to be kidding... 4 of them and you would call poison control??? Do you have any common sense? I have neck problems and my doctor has told me to take 12 a day... I do and it still doesnt get rid of the pain. I dont get sick and it doesnt hurt me. Poison control, Hahahahaha! They would hang up on you.

Re:From personal experience. (1)

masterwit (1800118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34578882)

And I bet you are not a "small girl". Lets say she weighs 80 lbs. That is 2400mg. I would call poison control. Plus this is all at once, not 12 a day. Seriously? You're an idiot.

They are just picking on her (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34577796)

I will bet you anything that the people who were searching her bag just don't think she is the best of their "teenage population" ( I mean come on they were looking for a knife in her purse), so I am thinking that they didnt find a knife, but they did find SOME LITTLE thing they could get her in trouble for and probably expelled from the school. Open and shut case. This wasn't about the ibuprofren, it's probably about her other behavior at school. Plus that since I was 12, I usually take 3-4 ibuprofrin right away when I get my "friend" every month. I end up taking quite a few in the day to be able to do normal activities.

Holy bat farts Bat man! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34590542)

Either something else is going on with this case or the police forces there need to be downsized to an appropriate level. If they have this much free time on their hands to pursue this they don't need that many officers.

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