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ROWAN COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -
Five high school students had to be rushed to the hospital on Thursday after they became ill on cough medicine at school.
According to officials at Rowan-Salisbury Schools, five students at Henderson Independent High School (HIHS) became sick after taking over the counter cold medications. School officials say students took Coricidin.
Fifteen-year-old David Alberto told WBTV he was on of the five students who got sick. He says he took about nine pills.
"I'm feeling a little better now," Alberto said. "But I still got a headache and stuff."
A student confessed taking the medication to administrators. He also admitted other students took them too. Alberto said a student told them if they take the pills they would get high.
"He asked us if we wanted some," Alberto said. "And we started drinking and when we all started drinking them, we got sick and we all started vomiting. We don't know what the pills were."
School officials told WBTV the pills were Coricidin. That is used to treat allergies, colds and flu. Henderson Independent HS School Resource Officer radioed for help. MEDIC arrived and students were transported to the hospital where they were treated and released.
"I don't know if I passed out at the hospital," Alberto said. "Or anything but I couldn't walk. I couldn't feel anything. I was numb."
According to district officials, parents were notified, the district¹s Code of Conduct is being implemented and the staff is cooperating with law enforcement on an investigation.
HIHS principal Lennetta Bartley sent a Connect-ED message to parents Thursday night.
"The only way that we can combat this reoccurring problem is with your help," Bartley told parents. "Parents, please discuss the dangers of taking prescribed and non-prescribed medications recklessly."
The principal now wants to create a program that will educate students about the dangers of drugs.
"If you suspect that your son or daughter is misusing medications, please contact their doctor immediately," the principal said.
Bartley also reminded parents that there is help within the school as well.
Parents can speak with someone in Student Support Services who will provide them with community resources who have been approved by the Board of Education.
Alberto said he is suspended until Wednesday but he has to take a drug test before coming back to school.