A student in Rock Springs has been arrested on a felony drug distribution charge after several other students were taken to the emergency room for drug overdoses, the Rock Springs Police Department announced Tuesday.

The investigation began Monday, with police looking into a male student who had evidently been distributing Buprenorphine pills to other students at Rock Springs High School.

"Several students were later seen at Sweetwater Memorial Hospital Emergency Room [sic] for drug overdoses from consuming Buprenorphine," the department said in a statement, adding that the drug can cause nausea, vomiting and breathing problems.

According to the National Alliance of Advocates for Buprenorphine Treatment, the drug is an opioid medication used to treat opioid addiction. it is an "attractive" treatment for patients addicted to opioids, the group says.

While it is an opioid, its effects are less intense than drugs such as oxycodone or heroin. At the appropriate dose, Buprenorphine can block the effects of other opioids.

The drug is potentially deadly, police say.

Following the investigation, one male student was arrested on a felony charge of unlawful manufacturing or delivery of a controlled substance. Four other students were charged with use of a controlled substance.

Police say all the students involved are juveniles. Law enforcement typically does not release specific details regarding charges against minors.

The case remains under investigation. The police department reminds the public that it is dangerous and illegal to misuse prescription drugs.

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