A product marketed as potpourri, but used as a substitute for marijuana, is being blamed in at least 36 cases of overdose in just two days. Police in Manchester, New Hampshire fanned out across the city looking for "spice" in area stores, but found nothing. They are hoping the worst is over.
As students in Washoe County head back to the classroom and a world of peer pressures, parents are wondering if that could happen here. In 2012, Nevada made synthetic marijuana under any brand name illegal. Experts say that action alone doesn't eliminate the problem. While kids can no longer buy the product over the counter, then can still get it online or from a dealer.
Seemingly targeted at kids, spice comes in colorful foil packages in candy-themed flavors. Not all drugs are that easy to spot. "Heroin could look like something that you picked up on your shoe out in the parking lot," says Jennifer Snyder of Join Together Northern Nevada. "The same with meth, so some of these things you don't think 'oh that's a drug.' You think 'oh that's a speck of something on my carpet.'"
Join Together Northern Nevada focuses on drug abuse prevention and treatment in Washoe County. They say alcohol and prescription drugs are the biggest problems for teens in our area. Snyder says keeping kids busy is the best way to keep them safe. For the times when you can't be there, she says make sure they are prepared. "Help that child figure out what are some ways I can say 'no" if someone offers me something."
Nicknames for drugs are constantly changing, and it can be hard for parents to keep up. If you would like information about how to talk to your kids or what to do if you suspect a problem - click on the link to the right.