I was a guest of theTOYOTA COLLABORATIVE SAFETY RESEARCH CENTER  for the conference – all opinions are my own

Spice - Designer Drug (photo credit: Wikipedia)

 A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending the 2013 Lifesavers Conference in Denver, Colorado. As the wife of nearly 30 years to a fire fighter, I’ve always been interested in public safety, medical, etc, as it relates to my husband’s job. As our children became teens that knowledge came in handy when it came time for them to start driving.

But even though I have 30+ years of knowledge, I learned quite a bit at the event. One of the most eye opening sessions was on Designer Drugs. First, it’s helpful to know what the term Designer Drug means. Generally it means that a legal compound is changed and becomes a derivative of its legal form. But this new drug has an entirely different chemical makeup and it can produce similar effects to illegal drugs. Unfortunately, these are sold on the black or grey market and not regulated as drugs.

Bath Salts Drug - photo credit Wikipedia

Bath Salts Drug – photo credit Wikipedia

One of the most common is Bath Salts. No, not the stuff you have in your bath, these are chemically changed and then snorted or shot into a vein. I wrote a story about it in 2012 – read: Why Every Parent Should Watch A&E’s “Intervention.” If you have teens, show them the video. I think showing them what this “legal” substance can do to them will arm them with information that will hopefully help them resist peer pressure to try this drug.

Designer Drugs – Celebrity Connection

Another designer drug which has been made famous by teen idol Miley Cyrus is fake Pot. Also known as K2,  Spice, Herbal Incense, etc. This “legal” potpourri is smoked by abusers and this can put users in the emergency room with convulsions, an elevated heart rate, disorientation, and anxiety attacks.

The laws are having a  hard time keeping up with the number of chemical changes being completed in backrooms and alleyways. It’s a shame that people can kill while on these “legal” drugs and not face tough penalties.

If you have teens, learn about these drugs and the warning signs. I would have bet money my kids had never tried drugs or alcohol as teens. I found out last year that I would have lost that bet. We did everything right, and they still tried it, but that doesn’t mean you should accept the fact that kids will use. Teach them the consequences and look for signs.