published Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Rhea County child recovering after ingesting drugs

SPRING CITY, Tenn. -- An elementary school-age girl is sleeping off the effects of amphetamine and barbiturate drugs she ingested earlier this week, according to Rocky Potter, an investigator with the Rhea County Sheriff's Office.

Amphetamine is a central nervous stimulant found in drugs used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and narcolepsy. Barbiturate is a central nervous system depressant used in sedation and pain-killer drugs.

Potter said Wednesday afternoon it is impossible to know yet where the girl got the drugs. He said, though, it does not appear the girl took anything from a classmate at Spring City Elementary School or on the school bus.

She was last in school on Monday. Potter said the girl became sick Monday night and was taken to T.C. Thompson Children's Hospital in Chattanooga that night by her mother. She was released but became sick again that night, and her mother took her to a Roane County, Tenn., hospital.

The girl was sent back to the children's hospital at that point and has been there since, as of Wednesday evening.

Potter said investigators were headed to the girl's home Wednesday evening to see if she may have gotten hold of a family member's prescription drugs.

Right now the girl is "just sleeping it off" and is expected to be fine, he said. On Friday, tests will show exactly what drugs, and how much of the drugs, were in the girl's system, he said.

"It's just an ongoing investigation," Potter said.

about Alex Green...

Alex Green joined the Times Free Press staff full-time in January 2014 after completing the paper's six-month, general assignment reporter internship. Alex grew up in Dayton, Tenn., which is also where he studied journalism at Bryan College. He graduated from Rhea County High School in 2008. During college, Alex covered the city of Graysville and the town of Spring City for The Herald-News. As editor-in-chief of Bryan College's student news group, Triangle, Alex reported on ...

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