HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) - The Ottawa County Health Department held a presentation on Thursday evening for parents to learn about designer drugs in West Michigan and how to talk to their children about the topic.
Some tips for encouraging kids not to use drugs was providing them with lines to say to friends when they are offered a drug.
Among the suggestions were refusals fore specific reasons, such as: "I can't because I'm training for this sport," or "I can't because of my work."
The presentation was from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Health Department Office on James Street in Holland and focused on emerging drug trends in the area, including information on K2, bath salts, and spice.
Experts said that parents can't rely on laws to keep designer drugs out of their kids' hands.
"For a while they could change the chemicals and that would prevent it from being illegal," said Leigh Moerdyke of Pathways MI. "But that has changed. ... The law now says that the chemical components of spice are illegal. But the penalties are such that stores are still selling it."
But designer drugs aren't the only concern for parents. On top of the dangers of K2 and spice, drugs like marijuana are becoming more dangerous.
"It's not the same as it was in the 60's. It's more potent. It's a different. It's sometimes laced so it's really very harmful for youth to be using," said Moerdyke.
The presentation also provided parents with tips about how to talk to kids about drugs and information on treatment resources.
Thursday night's presentation was part of a series aimed at educating the community on trending topics in parenting. Presentations will be the first Thursday of each month and focus on topics from cyber bullying to family fitness.
Go to the Ottawa County Health Department (pdf) to view the schedule for the series.
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