NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Three North Myrtle Beach Middle School students are facing charges after police allege they were distributing drugs too close to school grounds.
Horry County Police spokesman Sgt. Robert Kegler says when officers questioned the trio, they were unable to find any pills on the students.
However, what warranted the charges was witness testimony alleging the teens have carried drugs inside the school before. One of the drugs at the center of the investigation, according to officials, is Xanax.
Sgt. Robert Kegler, spokesman with Horry County Police, says if you're child's caught doing the same thing, there are stiff consequences.
"Anything from juvenile diversion to a recommendation for probation to a recommendation for jail - depending on how many times the juvenile has been in there for other offenses," he said.
According to an Horry County Schools spokeswoman, all three students are currently under suspension.
While police continue to investigate this isolated incident, doctors say it's becoming easier for teens to access Xanax -- a drug used to treat anxiety and panic disorders. It's becoming more popular to take, too.
Dr. Ron Reynolds says the side effects on children are damaging.
"Confusion, difficulty of thought process, and even coma," he said.
Reynolds says there are some warning signs you can look out for if you suspect your child's using drugs.
"Changes in behavior, changes in their performance in school, increased drowsiness," he explained.
Both Reynolds and police say the only way you can keep your teen safe is to let them know you have a zero-tolerance policy against drug use.
"It's always a good initiative as a parent to make sure your children are staying on the right path," Kegler said.