Synthetic Marijuana: A Dangerous Epidemic

Contact: Dannielle Meyer, Coalition Coordinator              FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Cell: 832-330-5898

Email: Dannielle.Meyer@bacoda.org

Synthetic Marijuana: A Dangerous Epidemic

Written by: Dannielle Meyer, Brazoria County Community Coalition Coordinator

Synthetic marijuana is a growing epidemic in our community, and it can no longer be ignored. It’s important to know that synthetic marijuana – also known as fake weed, K2, Spice, Push, and other names – is not marijuana. It mimics some of the characteristics of marijuana, but it is chemically made in a lab. The effects of the chemicals are more like ecstasy, methamphetamines, heroin and other serious drugs. Retailers and websites advertise the drugs as “safe” and “legal,” but these statements are false.  The possible chemicals in any given container of a synthetic are not known and may differ each time the product is purchased, even if it is the same product name.

I have worked in the field of substance abuse prevention for many years, and I have seen the devastating effects of synthetic marijuana firsthand. This drug can destroy physical and mental health from the very first use. Immediate effects of synthetic marijuana may include vomiting, confusion, hallucinations, psychotic behavior, rapid heart rate, reduced blood flow to the heart, and in some cases, heart attack.

I am often surprised by how many parents are unaware of this dangerous drug. As parents, it is essential to know what our teens are facing. This is why Brazoria County Community Coalition of the Bay Area Council on Drugs and Alcohol (BACODA) has partnered with local police departments, city governments, and schools to bring Parent Awareness Night events to communities across Brazoria County. These events have been hugely successful in getting parents the information they need to help their children make good choices. Two more Parent Awareness Night events are coming up in February, and both are free and open to the public. On February 4th, from 7pm-9pm, we will hold Parent Awareness Night at the Lake Jackson Civic Center at 333 Texas 332 in Lake Jackson. On February 11th, from 7pm-9pm, we will hold Parent Awareness Night at Manvel High School at 19601 Texas Hwy 6 in Manvel. These events are a great introduction to the issues that our Brazoria County youth are facing today.

For professionals who work with youth and are interested in more advanced training on these topics, please consider registering for our upcoming Youth Addiction and Recovery Symposium. This free event will be on February 25th, from 8:30am-3:30pm at the Freeport Historical Museum at 303 East Park Avenue in Freeport.

For more information on these events, contact Dannielle Meyer at 800-510-3111 or coalitions@bacoda.org.

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Brazoria County Community Coalition is a project of the Bay Area Council on Drugs and Alcohol (BACODA).  BACODA is a community-based substance abuse prevention organization that provides sustained leadership and support for the Coalition.  BACODA, a United Way agency, has provided comprehensive prevention/intervention services since 1974.

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