This morning Director Kerlikowske and Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of The Partnership at Drugfree.org, co-hosted a working group session at ONDCP to share information regarding the emerging threat of synthetic drugs and promote a coordinated response. Participants included high-level officials from the Department of Health and Human Services; the Drug Enforcement Administration; the Department of State; the Department of Defense; the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America; the American Association of Poison Control Centers; and the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.
Public health authorities across the Nation continue to report serious adverse effects from these drugs, including seizures, elevated blood pressure, nausea, hallucinations, and paranoid behavior. There have also been news reports of fatalities.
To help parents address the threat posed by synthetic drugs, today The Partnership at Drugfree.org introduced a kit for parents and adult influencers that provides the tools they need to talk with their teens about these drugs and to recognize the warning signs of use. The information kit includes a slidecast about synthetic drugs, a corresponding podcast and video, and a printable guide so parents can share details on what to look for, what the street names are, and what the effects of these substances are with others in their community. The information kit is available at The Partnership at Drugfree.org website and is part of a "Parents360" community education program funded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance.
Rafael Lemaitre is Associate Director for Public Affairs