The use of synthetic drugs like K2, Spice, Incense and Bath Salts is quickly becoming an epidemic amongst teenagers. Since the introduction of these dangerous drugs was fairly recent, many parents don't know a lot about them.
The Adams County Sheriff's Department, the Illinois Attorney General's Office and the Illinois Poison are aiming to change that.
A teleconference called "Synthetic – What Parents Need To Know" will be held Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. and again Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
"With the explosion of synthetic drug availability and popularity, this is another opportunity to bring this issue to the forefront for parents and educators," Illinois Attorney General's Office Spokesman Scott Mulford said.
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan launched an operation last December called "Operation Smoked out" to rid the products from retail stores. Since the beginning of the operation, more than 31,000 packages have been taken with a street value of almost $700,000.
Although it's illegal to sell certain formulas of these synthetic drugs, the makers have been able to chemically alter them to get around the law.
"It's a problem that continues," Mulford said. "There have been some really bizarre consequences with people totally whacked out on this stuff. You don't have the slightest idea where some of the ingredients come from. It's scary stuff."
New legislation was recently signed into law in July 2011 that now defines a synthetic drug as "any product containing a controlled substance not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration," according to the Illinois Attorney General's Office. The new law also makes possession and distribution a Class 2 felony.
Representatives from the three agencies will go over information about the drugs and the dangers they pose. They will also go over the new law in detail.
The teleconferences are free and registration is not required. The presentations are expected to last 60 minutes and teachers and principals are also encouraged to attend.
To participate in the teleconference, call 888-494-4032 and enter the passcode 4762866737#.
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