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President and CEO Steve Pasierb Addresses Emergence of Synthetic Drugs in Washington, DC; Introduces New Information Kit for Parents

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This morning, The Partnership at Drugfree.org President and CEO Steve Pasierb co-hosted a working group session with Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy. The session brought together officials from the public and private sector to share information regarding the emerging threat of synthetic drugs and coordinate the Federal, state and local response.

Often marketed as legal substances, synthetic drugs are sometimes labeled as “herbal incense” or “bath salts” and sold in small pouches or packets over the Internet, in tobacco and smoke shops, drug paraphernalia shops, gas stations, and convenience stores.In December, the National Institute on Drug Abuse released new information indicating that one in nine high school seniors had used “Spice” or “K2” over the past year, making synthetic marijuana the second most frequently used illicit drug, after marijuana, among high school seniors.  Poison Control Centers operating across the Nation have also reported sharp increases in the number of calls relating to synthetic drugs.

Pasierb also introduced a kit for parents and adult influencers at a media briefing following the group session.  The kit houses the tools parents need to talk with their teens about this emerging threat and recognize the warning signs of use. It includes a slidecast about synthetic drugs and a printable guide so parents can present details on what to look for, what the street names are and what the effects of these substances are to others in their community.  It is available on the drug guide of the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids website and is part of a “Parents360″ community education program funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance.

“Synthetic drugs like Spice, K2, and ‘bath salts’ are a serious threat to the health and safety of young people throughout America,” said Kerlikowske. “We will continue to coordinate a comprehensive government-wide response, but we cannot do this alone. Parents and adult influencers must understand the serious threat these drugs pose and act today to talk to teens about the serious health and safety consequences of drug use – in whichever form it may come.”

“The drug scene is constantly changing and we’ve seen this firsthand in calls to our Parents Toll-Free Helpline and reflected in the facts, numbers and stories presented this morning,” said Pasierb. “This is a serious ‘wake-up call’ for everyone about the extent of synthetic drug use among kids, and that’s why it’s so important for parents to educate themselves about changing drug trends so they’ll know what to look for. the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids’s new information kit is just one critical way we’re increasing awareness among parents about the dangers of these new substances, as well as giving them the accessible, understandable tools they need to talk with their kids about the risks of using synthetic drugs.”

9 Responses to this article

  1. Avatar of jessie
    jessie / May 6, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    Just say no spent $1600 a month it is effecting everyone that loves you if i could get one person off that would mean my world. Every action has reaction. Do think stupid keep your head on your shoulders. Store are getting lawyers and the cops cant do nothing because it says legal but it is a suicidal drug will make you someone your not have seen people go having everything to nothing including me. If my story helps plz comment. Life is the only high you need i promise. This coming from 13 year ex addict. Glad i have a great wife that stuck by side though hell on this stuff. God bless and drink gatorade you will be fine. Spread the word for me.

  2. Concerned Citizen / March 1, 2012 at 7:40 pm

    I support this appraoch to the problem. Engaging parents, schools, youths and the media in a conversation about the risks of these substances. We can expect that adding these substances to the long list of substances under government prohibition will be unsuccessful in addressing the problem.

  3. Avatar of James
    James / February 28, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    It is irresponsible to call these products “synthetic marijuana”. Every kid out there knows people who smoke marijuana regularly without ever having a medical emergency because of it, and using this term will only increase the number who try it expecting the same effects as real marijuana.

  4. Avatar of Stephen Webb
    Stephen Webb / February 23, 2012 at 4:14 pm

    I have used the synthetic drugs, the spice and k2, I am also a senior in high school. It may sound bad, but the only reason I do it is because it’s legal and sold in stores. Lets face it, it’s more dangerous than actual marijuana, hell cigarettes are more dangerous! If marijuana was made legal, taxed, and sold in stores we wouldn’t have these LIFE THREATENING synthetic drugs. Plus making something legal kills the thrill for most people.

  5. Avatar of www.CMETFL.com
    www.CMETFL.com / February 21, 2012 at 9:48 am

    Thank you for the information. As a provider of substance abuse treatment and education, this information is vital to keep parents and community alert and aware.

  6. Avatar of Kayla
    Kayla / February 19, 2012 at 8:50 am

    It is unfortunate that out children in high school are getting a hold of such dangerous substances as bath salts. They are always looking for the next big thing and it is important that we let them know of the dangers.

    It is also important that we regulate marijuana since it is the most used substance. Having it regulated rather than illegal would aid in preventing minors from obtaining it so easily in the underground market.

  7. Avatar of Mayra Lorenzo
    Mayra Lorenzo / February 17, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    The government needs to take care of this serious issue,this drug can kill people.
    Parents can not fight alone with this matter…but our children life are in risk
    Thanks for you support
    Mayra Lorenzo

  8. Avatar of Michelle
    Michelle / February 17, 2012 at 9:39 am

    THANK YOU SO MUCH! We have been fighting this fight alone, and we are happy to see the Partnership for a Drug Free America take on this important and life-saving work.

    Sincerely,

    Michelle Kassorla

  9. Avatar of Momo
    Momo / March 14, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    I have used the synthetic drugs, the spice and k2, I am also a seionr in high school. It may sound bad, but the only reason I do it is because it’s legal and sold in stores. Lets face it, it’s more dangerous than actual marijuana, hell cigarettes are more dangerous! If marijuana was made legal, taxed, and sold in stores we wouldn’t have these LIFE THREATENING synthetic drugs. Plus making something legal kills the thrill for most people.

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