SOMERSET, Mass. (WPRI) — School officials in both Somerset and Fall River sent memos home to parents this week warning them about a dangerous new trend: teenagers ingesting plant seeds to get high.
The Seekonk School Department sent a memo out earlier this week after the seeds were located inside a school. Since then, other districts are on the lookout for the troubling trend, as well.
While the seeds can be purchased legally at hardware stores, florists and gardening centers, police say they are potentially more dangerous than some illegal drugs.
“They could die,” said Somerset Police Chief George McNeil.
According to McNeil, at least one Somerset-Berkley High School student was hospitalized after ingesting seeds for plants like Sleepy Grass, Hawaiian Baby Woodrose and Blue Morning Glory.
“Once it’s in your system, it really could take over your body and your bodily systems – [it could] lead to respiratory failure,” he said.
McNeil said one could make the case that ingesting the seeds is potentially more harmful than doing a drug like marijuana.
Officials at Durfee High School in Fall River recently issued a memo to parents, alleging several students were kicked out of prom last month after ingesting brownies that contained marijuana and possibly plant seeds.
The memo states the students looked ill, lethargic, disoriented and were vomiting.
“Look around, if you see these packages in their pockets or in your home, they’re probably not growing flowers,” McNeil said.
Eyewitness News has learned the seeds have been removed from the shelves at the Somerset Home Depot, but police are urging parents to stay vigilant because they can still be purchased elsewhere.