Parents nowadays have an additional source of concern, as an increasing number of teenagers are turning to incense products that contain harmful synthetic chemicals. In addition to the dangers that they pose, these products are more readily accessible to teenagers: these are being conveniently sold at gas stations and convenience stores.
Complicating things further is the fact that most traditional drug tests are unable to detect these substances. A community forum conducted on Wednesday in Howell, Michigan, reveal the disheartening fact that a number of parents have watched their children suffer from debilitating and life-threatening health conditions brought about by using these products, which have been labeled as “not for human consumption.”
Stephanie VanDerKooi, health educator for the Ottawa County Health Department, shared: “This is going to consistently become a problem. We’re always a step behind.”
The community forum was led by Ms. VanDerKooi, and featured a panel consisting of local health, law enforcement, and courts officials. A video that showed personal accounts of teenage use of synthetic marijuana products, outside of Ottawa County, was shown. In addition to the personal accounts, the video also showed the physical ailments associated with using these incense-type products, as well as the products that are currently being sold legally in stores and online.
Substance abuse experts have declared that synthetic marijuana products, which are being marketed as incense, prove to be more dangerous than pot itself, when smoked.
In addition to synthetic marijuana products, the forum also touched on prescription drug abuse among teenagers.