A Lesson In Synthetic Drugs - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

A Lesson In Synthetic Drugs

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Local medical and law enforcement officials gathered in Knox County on Friday afternoon. All of them curious about drugs like k2 and bath salts. They're learning about synthetic drugs and how to spot someone who's using.

"It's still out there, it's still available over the Internet," said Dr. Michael Wahl, Medical Director for the Illinois Poison Center.

Synthetic drugs are banned nationwide, but that doesn't mean they're gone. So, local officials are trying to stay ahead of the curve.

"We have no idea what they'll do to people long-term," said Wahl. "Every person who uses these, they're essentially a human experiment." And the problem hits closer to home than we may think.

"The calls that we get, based on population, are five times more likely to come from an area like Galesburg than they are to come from an urban city like Chicago." Wahl said synthetic drugs are more popular in rural areas. So, local doctors, nurses, counselors and cops are making sure they're familiar with how to handle them.

"Spread the word and let everybody know how dangerous it is," said Vickie Lewis, clinician for the Illinois Institute for Addiction and Recovery. "So that people don't die anymore because that's what's happening."