HUNTINGTON BEACH — At least seven Marina High School students, including five drill team members, were recovering Thursday after they unknowingly chewed LSD-laced bubble gum that had been given to them by other students, parents and authorities said.
Several law enforcement officials said it was the first time they had heard of chewing gum used to transmit drugs. But some students on campus said that lacing bubble gum with LSD, or "acid," is a new fad.
Police said the episode began Tuesday about 10 p.m. as seven Marina High School girls who had just finished drill team practice were sitting with their coach in the gym.
Four boys who had been watching the team practice approached the group, and one of the boys offered the girls some wrapped bubble gum, according to team members and their parents. Five girls, all seniors, accepted. The girls began to hallucinate soon after they went home.
One team member, Angela Salinardi, 17, said she saw visions of robotic toys called "transformers" and "monsters from the haunted mansion at Disneyland" hours after chewing a piece of gum.
"I thought it was part of my head injury," said Salinardi, who had been in a coma for three days after a drunk driver struck her in April. "I was paranoid because I thought I would have to go to a mental institution; then I started crying, then I started laughing uncontrollably again."
Salinardi said she talked to other drill team members Wednesday and found out they had similar experiences. One member told Salinardi that she imagined herself singing a duet with slain Beatle John Lennon. The girls talked to police Wednesday night and turned over some of the chewed gum, she said.
Police Lt. Charles Poe said investigators became aware of the LSD-spiked gum Tuesday night after the mother of a male Marina High student called authorities to say her son and his friend were "acting weird." The two boys were taken to a hospital, where they were treated and released.
No arrests had been made as of Thursday night.
Poe said that laboratory tests completed Thursday indicated that the LSD had been inserted into slits in the bubble gum. LSD was found in various pieces of unchewed gum that had been turned over to the police, he said.