Synthetic drug use is on the rise in our area. Teachers, doctors and police have a better idea on how to crack down on the issue. They’re talking about ways to keep up with the growing problem. A presentation was held at the Lake Storey Pavilion in Galesburg on February 1, 2013.
Kevin Legate from Galesburg Police Department attended, “I came to get a different perspective on it, from the law enforcement side and also from the medical side."
The presentation went over side effects, treatment and how to tell if someone is using. One of the speakers was Vickie Lewis, an addiction counselor for the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery.
Not only was she speaking as a professional, but also as a mother whose son is an addict, “As a parent it's really difficult to see that. You tend to be co-dependent, you tend to say ‘oh it's not that, but it's okay because kids experiment,’” says Vickie.
She says that kind of thinking can lead to things getting worse, “He ended up getting two DUI'S. He ended up being HIV positive. There’s a lot of consequences with that so when you think that's okay you kind of avoid seeing the things as a parent."
With a new drug popping up all the time, Kevin says it’s hard for police to keep up, “All they're doing is changing the names on them. More importantly what they're doing is changing the chemical."
It’s a problem that’s growing in his community, “We’re seeing the rise of it here in this community, various age groups are using the drugs."
Vickie says the best advice she can give other parents is to have an open communication with their kids.
"You need to open your eyes, ask questions, call people, talk to people, educate yourself and put down limits,” says Vickie.