Starting the Conversation
If you have concern that someone you know may be using synthetic drugs, it is important to address the issue directly, with the individual’s best interest in mind. Even if the discussion is uncomfortable, caring enough to intervene can often make a crucial difference.
- Ask Questions: It is useful to understand their knowledge of synthetic drugs, and to have a conversation early, rather than later. Equip yourself with a general knowledge of the products and their use. Make it clear there are no gray areas when it comes to synthetics – they are unregulated, toxic and incredibly dangerous.
- Educate: Avoiding the subject is the worst thing you can do. Keep open channels of communication, seeking out and sharing reliable information. Help them understand the pressures they may face. As with other drugs, they’re most likely to encounter them with friends, at parties or in other social situations. The more they know about the products, they’ll be better prepared to make healthy decisions.
- Discuss risk factors: Discuss the differences between natural and synthetic drugs and the severity involved, specifically regarding synthetic drug use. Although it’s not uncommon for young people to experiment with marijuana, its potency and effect pales in comparison to synthetic drugs. Explain that synthetic products are powerful, untested toxins, often yielding immediate and devastating physical effects.