Marijuana product that can be smoked in e-cigarettes reported to be on the rise in Oldham County schools; heroin too

Oldham County school officials report that a waxy form of marijuana in e-cigarettes, as well as heroin, are becoming more prevalent among students, Taylor Riley reports for The Oldham Era.

“At least eight students were taken to the hospital or medical offices, just after spring break, due to the effects of using vape oils with electronic cigarettes, according to Dan Orman, assistant superintendent,” Riley reports.

Orman referred to a new marijuana product on the market called Wax, which has a waxy texture and yellow color. It is made from the oils of marijuana plants and has a high level of THC, the ingredient in marijuana that makes a user high. This product melts as it heats up in an e-cigarette and can be smoked. It is much stronger than marijuana and is undetected by sight or smell.

“It’s very dangerous to the developing brain,” Orman said. He presented the report at the board of education meeting and said there had been a “huge decrease” in prescription pill use in the Oldham County schools, but heroin use is on the rise, which “seems to be the trend everywhere in Kentucky,” Riley reports.

Earlier this year, Carrollton police officer Tim Gividen told WLKY-TV that this product had been an issue in high schools in Carroll and Trimble counties, just north of Oldham and toward Cincinnati.

“In a 2011 survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 5.2 percent of Kentucky’s high-schoolers reported using heroin, nearly double the national average. By the time the teens hit their senior year, use had grown to 7.7 percent, nearly 5 points higher than the nation’s average,” Terry DeMio reports for The Cincinnati Enquirer.

The director of Operation Parent, Jean Schumm, told Riley that parental engagement was the key to helping kids from “going down the wrong road.” She also suggested that drug and alcohol prevention needs to start earlier, in the fourth and fifth grade, instead of high school, because this is when kids start to experiment. Operation Parent is a LaGrange-based nonprofit for parents of pre-teens.

Orman agreed: “Parents should be aware of all possible substances their children may be ingesting or abusing. There are many over-the-counter and illegally obtained drugs that young people may abuse for recreational purposes. Awareness and constant vigilance are the best tools parents can use to help keep their kids safe.”

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