Kit on synthetic drugs helps parents

Feb. 16, 2012 at 12:20 PM
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WASHINGTON, Feb. 16 (UPI) -- U.S. officials Thursday released a kit to help parents and other adults talk with teens and spot the growing problem of synthetic drugs.

The release followed a meeting that included White House Drug Policy Director Kerlikowske and public health and safety officials. Participants included high-level officials from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Department of State, the Department of Defense, the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America and the American Association of Poison Control Centers, the White House said.

The information kit includes a slidecast about synthetic drugs, a corresponding podcast and video 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," officials said in a release.

The kit is available at The Partnership at Web site and is part of a "Parents360" community education program funded by the U.S. Department of Justice's 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," Kerlikowske said in the statement.

The statement said synthetic drugs are often marketed as legal, and are sometimes labeled "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 said one in nine high school seniors had used "Spice" or "K2" over the past year. That made synthetic marijuana the second most frequently used illicit drug, after marijuana, among high school seniors.

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