Teen speaks out about cold-medicine abuse

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Channel 2 Action News is getting an inside look at a dangerous trend among teenagers that can lead to a cold-medicine overdose.
COBB COUNTY, Ga. —

Channel 2 Action News is getting an inside look at a dangerous trend among teenagers that can lead to a cold-medicine overdose.

Earlier this week police said four Centennial High School students took too much cold medicine trying to get high and had to be rushed to the hospital.

A Cobb County teen told Channel 2's Erica Byfield she's been doing the same thing and came close to an overdose.

Jameele Sanford, 15, hasn't been to school in over a week because she's been suspended.

School leaders said she had drug paraphernalia in her bag and that's only the beginning of the story.

"I was in class, I was in ISS just sitting, and I was pulled out, searched my bag and they found it and rushed me to the hospital," Sanford said.

Sanford admits she's addicted cold medicine.

Sanford showed Byfield four packs of pills and two bottles of cough syrup that her mother asked her to buy to show just how easy it is for a teen to get the drugs.

"I just walked in like I was going to buy anything else," Sanford said.

Sanford said she buys generic Corcidin pills and generic Robitussin and before she got caught at school on Sept. 20 she used to down a couple packs of pills and at least one bottle of syrup almost everyday.

"Why would you do it?" Byfield asked Sanford

"Because that gives you a good feeling, it's like high," Sandford answered. "I would be able to do my work, nobody would really know that I was on them or not. I would tell a friend just in case I passed out or something. Somebody would know I did it and would be able to get help for me."

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"I thought I was a hip mom and I found out I wasn't," Jameele's mother, Sonja Atkins, said.

Atkins said she almost lost it when a police officer called to say her 15-year-old was being rushed to the hospital.

"You need to be aware of what's going on. You need to constantly go through your kids' rooms and see what's in their rooms," Atkins said.

Sanford told Byfield she got away with doing triple c's, or Skittles as its better known, because she'd take the meds at school.

Now, given all the trouble she's gotten into, she wishes she wouldn't have ever started.

"You can get addicted to it and it's kind of hard once you are addicted," Sanford said.

Sanford said she knows she has a long road of recovery ahead of her. Her 10-day suspension ends next week. She's allowed to go back to school on Wednesday.