Citrus Heights police, principal warn families about ‘paint’ after student sells suspected drug on campus

Local News

CITRUS HEIGHTS, Calif. (KTXL) — Police are warning parents about a new drug-like substance discovered at a Citrus Heights high school.

Pills containing unknown ingredients have been apparently bought and sold by students who are unaware of their potential danger.

“It is scary,” said mother Jacqueline Shields.

Shields, a mother of two at Mesa Verde High School, said it’s hard to trust her kids are in good hands when they go to class.

“I’m not here. I’m not here to help my kids make these decisions, these choices,” she told FOX40.

Shields recently got a letter from the school’s principal about a drug called “paint” being sold on campus. The principal claimed the drug is a pill with psychedelic effects and can be very addictive.

The principal’s memo also got Logan Santos worried about his 15-year-old little brother, who is a sophomore at Mesa Verde.

“When I saw it, my mind went to the worst,” Santos said. “I was like, what if it’s meth mixed with a psychedelic?”

Citrus Heights police said they arrested a student at the high school. They are a minor, so their name has not been released. 

Some parents like Shields said they don’t believe the arrest will make a difference.

“It’s just another case,” Shields said. “It’s just another case. It’s just another number.”

“This is life now. This is what’s going on,” she added.

As of Thursday, police were waiting for results from the crime lab to find out what’s in the pill.

A guide from the Drug Enforcement Administration shows “paint” can be slang for cocaine. But experts with the Partnership to End Addiction, a nonprofit aimed at preventing teen drug and alcohol use, said it could possibly be code for a couple of things.

“There’s been a lot of speculation as to what it really is, whether it’s some kind of PCP, whether it’s some form of ketamine or MDMA,” said Dr. Patricia Aussem, with the Partnership to End Addiction.

After the principal’s letter and concern on and off campus, Shields said her kids wanted to stay home from school and refused to go to a recent dance. She said it’s a decision she’s proud they made.

“They’re making good choices right there to not put themselves where things could happen with drugs,” she told FOX40.

The San Juan Unified School District is encouraging parents and students to talk openly about the dangers of drugs and providing resources online for prevention programs.

“Have a good relationship with your kids and no matter what they share with you, do not go off on them,” Shields said.

If any student or parent comes across this suspected drug, police say to call them immediately and do not try to handle it.

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