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Concerns Over Prescription Drug Use At Dallas High School

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - A dramatic increase in prescription drug overdoses at Dallas' Thomas Jefferson High School led school officials to call a meeting Monday night where it called on parents to help.

"We are here today because we have noticed a specific type of drug activity on our campus," Principal Sandi Massey told the crowd of more than a hundred parents. "We literally went from only having about 10 incidents the whole first semester to 30 this semester."

Last month the Dallas ISD high school called 911 on seven separate occasions due to a prescription drug overdose concern.

Many of the parents who came Monday evening said they knew drugs were a problem, but few seem to know that that prescription drugs was the biggest problem

"It alarmed me a lot," said parent Cynthia Taylor. "I didn't know it was as severe as it was."

Pablo Salgado said last week he noticed his son for the first time talking about a drug called T-Bar - that's term many students use for Xanax.

"He started to tell me because he saw a couple of his friends doing drugs and different reactions to the drugs." Salgado said.

Delaine Faris with the North Texas Recovery Foundation said it's not just a growing problem at Thomas Jefferson High School. She said the reason Xanax has become a popular drug of choice among teenagers recently is its availability.

Faris said the inexpensive drug can be found in the medicine cabinets of many of the teenager's homes and, if it's not there, it's likely at their friend's house.

Faris applauded Thomas Jefferson High School for calling the meeting because she said parent involvement is the key.

"If you know your kid, you know when they make changes and that's the key," she said. "When you kid starts making changes that needs to set off the alarms, the bells, and the whistles."

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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