By Travis Gulbrandson
The Vermillion Police Department is asking for parental vigilance after two juveniles were found to be in possession of a synthetic drug called 25I.
“The best way for us to approach this type of situation, we feel, is to get the information out to the parents in whatever way we feel that we can and issue a call to them to let them know that the best thing they can do is talk with their kids about this, talk about the dangers that are associated with this type of thing,” said Capt. Chad Passick.
A hallucinogenic, 25I is most commonly ingested through either snorting or smoking, although Passick said it also can be distributed on blotter paper.
According to a story from WWBT NBC12 out of Richmond, VA, the drug led to at least five overdoses among teens in that community in February 2012.
Virginia’s Lt. Jennifer Reese was quoted as saying those who used the drug were prone to “violence, depression, they were unaware of their person, place and the time.
“We also had one that was experiencing seizure activity,” she said.
That is why Passick wants to get the word out to parents and kids.
“If you’ve researched it, you see the posts on You Tube of the kids who are actually high on this stuff,” he said. “They make it out to be a good experience and a safe experience, and unless parents are aware of this, we’re not able to offset that message.”
While he could not give the specifics of the local case because there were juveniles involved, Passick did say two juveniles were cited.
“We found them to be in possession of easily-identifiable drug substances, also in addition to what we found as 25I,” he said. “It’s my understanding that in visiting with them, we were able to determine what this substance was. Then through further research we were able to confirm it.”
Passick said local officials had not heard of 25I prior to this incident, but added that use of synthetic drugs is on the rise, due in large part to the legality of some of them.
“The laws have struggled to keep pace with the synthetics,” he said. “They’re only recently coming around to the perspective of actually declaring broader bases of substances illegal, so that the derivatives are also illegal.”
The current problem is that although “product A” may be illegal, a “product B” with similar effects could be made from the same source if that substance remains legal.
“What legislatures are beginning to do is simply declare those underlying substances illegal so that when ‘B’ comes along it’s already contained in that,” Passick said.
Regardless of whether or not they are legal, Passick said people need to understand that synthetic drugs are dangerous.
“Too commonly synthetic substances can be damaging to young people and adults alike, whether it’s because of an overdose or because of simply the substances that are in the drug,” he said. “Too often these types of things result in a young person trying it for the first time, and ending up with either brain damage or (dying).”
Parents need to understand that drugs are no longer just traditional substances like marijuana and pills, Passick said.
They also need to know that the problem is a local one.
“Vermillion’s kids are being affected by these things,” he said.