“Darth Vapor” Sending Students to the Hospital

A new form of synthetic marijuana is sending teenagers to the hospital.

A Mason County student is in critical condition after inhaling something called “Darth Vapor”, a substance smoked with an E-cigarette.

School officials at Journey High School in Scottville called 911 yesterday afternoon after the 19-year-old had a seizure.

And it’s not the first problem with the drug in the area.

The sheriff says this is the fourth time since March that they’ve seen an overdose on the vapor. They had it tested, and confirmed it’s a form of synthetic marijuana.

It’s not regulated by the state, which he says, makes it hard to prevent more trips to the ER.

“Just because it’s not regulated by state law doesn’t stop you from being a parent. Your parental rights trump state law as far as I’m concerned,” says Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole.

The sheriff wants parents to help prevent more overdoses on “Darth Vapor”, which put a 19-year-old in critical condition

“The big thing is the parents need to know what these kids are getting into. If you see your child has a e-cig look into that, question why they have it and what they’re putting into it because you mark my words were going to be doing a story on somebody dying,” says Sheriff Cole.

Doctors say smoking vapors is the most dangerous way to ingest something, because the toxins have direct access to your blood.

“It’s almost like taking it in an IV. I mean you just absorb it and it doesn’t go through your liver. So you’re getting the drug directly into the vein, into the circulation,” says Dr. Robert Kowalski, and MD at Munson Healthcare Cadillac Hospital.

And because these vapors are so new and unregulated, treatment can be difficult.

“Most of the treatment for these overdoses is symptomatic. In other words we don’t have a specific antidote for these medications or drugs,” says Kowalski

A business in Ludington has agreed to take the vapor off the shelves, but teens can still manage to get their hands on it.

“I would, you know, tell young adults and children that sell it to you. They’re not pharmacists. They’re not physicians they just want to sell you the drug,” says Kowalski.

All of the overdoses involved students in mason county. The Ludington Schools Superintendent says they’re working with staff and students to prevent problems in the future.


A 19-year-old is in critical condition after inhaling a substance from an e-cigarette.

The call came in Monday afternoon from Journey High School in Scottville.

The man used an e-cigarette to inhale the substance that caused him to overdose.

The Mason County Sheriff says a 16-year-old was taken to juvenile court for giving the vapor to the 19-year-old.

During the investigation, deputies also found an unloaded rifle in the 16-year-old’s car.

The 19-year-old was airlifted to a Grand Rapids hospital for treatment.

Stay with Northern Michigan’s News Leader throughout the day on air and online for more information on this developing story.