Emerging drug trends to be discussed Tuesday

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 10:58 pm on Friday, April 13, 2012

GREENVILLE — An informational meeting is being held to discuss the rising issue with new drug trends with teens and young adults.

The meeting will take place from 7 to 8:15 p.m., Tuesday, at the Greenville High School auditorium.

“Emerging Drug Trends with Teens” is designed to inform those who have frequent contact with teens about the new trends that are emerging in different forms.

Todd Oatley, Greenville Public Schools (GPS) assistant principal said the meeting is being held because of the drastic increases in synthetic drug use such as K2, Spice and bath salts.

“This isn’t your old marijuana and alcohol abuse we have all grown up with,” Oatley said. “This is a huge community problem around the country.”

Oatley noted it’s not just a problem with teens, but many adults are abusing the synthetic drugs as well.

Anthony Muller, director of clinic and business development at Wedgewood Christian Services, said these particular drugs are dangerous because of the chemical in them. Every time the law changes, so do the chemicals.

He explained people that abuse alcohol and marijuana do it because of a “good feeling” they receive from the drug. With drugs like K2, Spice and bath salts, Muller said patients warn how bad they are. There is no “good feeling” with these types of synthetic drugs.

“Through knowledge and awareness we can work towards prevention,” said Lynn Cooper, Drug Free Montcalm Coalition coordinator.  “Parents and adults need to be aware of what is available, what media messages are being conveyed to their children and what attitudes they have as adults affect our children.”

Substance use is in the top five priorities of Montcalm County according to results from the Healthy Montcalm survey.

The social norm of using alcohol and tobacco leaves children with the impressed that it is acceptable, she said, but very rarely do children try things like synthetic drugs without trying alcohol or tobacco first.

“We have a problem, not only here but everywhere,” Cooper said.


Emerging Drug Trends with Teens:

What: Information meeting about emerging drugs.

When: 7 to 8:15 p.m., Tuesday, April 17.

Where: Greenville High School auditorium


Presenters for “Emerging Drug Trends with Teens:”

Lynn Cooper, Drug Free Montcalm;

Josh McConkie, Greenville Public Safety;

Dr. Stuart Malafa, Greenville emergency room doctor;

Anthony Muller, counselor, Wedgwood

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