Three teens hospitalized for drug overdoses

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - Three Sioux Falls teenagers are in the hospital Thursday night after overdosing. Police were called to an Eastern Sioux Falls home on north Holiday Avenue Wednesday night. First responders found the girls ages 15, 18 and 19 all unconscious.

The 19-year-old was supposed to be babysitting five other children who were also in the home. Some say this case is unusual because three teenagers overdosed all at the same time.

Officers are still working to determine what drug the teen girls were using Wednesday night.

"It’s really getting to the point now where overdoses are not unfortunately that uncommon we're starting to see more overdoses," Officer Sam Clemens said who is with the Sioux Falls Police Department.

Officer Sam Clemens said in the case of any overdose officers have to wait and see what type of drug was used. In order to get that information they have to wait for medical records to come back.

"Probably the majority of the overdoses that we see involve one person it's usually not more than one person so to have three people that are unconscious from what we believe is a drug overdose is very unusual," Clemens said.

Malia Holbeck is a counselor at Avera who helps with addiction recovery. She said that she sees more people struggling with alcohol abuse more than any other substance.

"As far as illicit drug use we see a lot of people that will use marijuana and also methamphetamines as well and then opioids is also kind of up there to where people are struggling with those substances," Holbeck said.

Since its unknown what drugs these three teenage girls used or where they got them it's hard to say what caused the overdose.

"What can get dangerous about drug use is when you're buying it off the street you never know what you're buying or what has been mixed with that substance and so you really never know what you're taking when you're using those illicit substances," Holbeck said.

Holbeck said it's always good to remind a loved one when they're sober that you care about them and want to see that person get help.

"We really want to make sure that we're able to provide education to our communities to really what that looks like and how we're able to be able to help our friends and family," Holbeck added.

Often, people who struggle with drug addiction and don't know where to go are fearful of reaching out for help because of the stigma that is linked to addiction.

In the Sioux Falls area about 10% of the population is struggling with drug and alcohol use.