Emerging Drugs of Abuse
This item is included in the following series/curriculum: Emerging Drugs of Abuse Tool Kit
Running Time: 20 Minutes
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Newspaper headlines are filled with horror stories about the devastating effects of new synthetic drugs like Spice and K2 (synthetic marijuana) and bath salts (a cocaine substitute). This powerful, no-nonsense video shows teens how underground labs profit by concocting new compounds that mimic the effects of illegal drugs. Filmed in a gritty, documentary style, former users pull no punches as they tell your students just how dangerous these new drugs are. Law enforcement is stretched thin trying to keep up as drug dealers concoct new poisons in their basement labs including Spice, K2, bath salts, Kratom, Krokodil, Oxidado, and salvia (old but making a comeback), as well as new versions of dextromethorphan and crystal meth. The message is clear: Anyone taking these or any new, unknown drugs is risking serious injury or death.
Research-Based video, plus teacher’s resource book, student handouts and pre/post test in digital format
© Human Relations Media
Bronze Telly Award
Powerful, vivid, compelling, enlightening are words that come to mind when describing this video. Viewers are warned that it contains graphic scenes that might be shocking—and well they might. But they are far from gratuitous, reinforcing some of the emerging effects of newer drugs such as Spice/2K, bath salts, Molly, Oxidado, and others. The program alternates between a panel of four diverse teens who comment on the descriptions and effects of emerging drugs, scenes of the drugs being prepared or packages ready for sale under brand/street names, counselors working with teens, emergency room professionals who are on the front lines dealing with a new wave of victims, and several recovering teens who talk frankly about why they used drugs and how they felt. The combination is smooth, powerful and, if anything, understated. The honesty and emotion displayed by the recovering teens as they talk about the personal toll drug abuse has taken and what recovery meant to them is impressive. Their messages are accompanied by an excellent musical background. Viewers will come away with a heightened understanding of just what goes into these new drugs (gasoline, battery acid, paint thinner, etc.) and how difficult it is for medical professionals to treat overdoses when they aren't sure what drugs the victims took. An excellent addition to middle and high school libraries.
—John Clark, Hartland Public Library, ME
School Library Journal
Recommended. A drug-awareness program, Emerging Drugs of Abuse addresses a wide array of recent illicit narcotics arrivals, including K2 and spice (powerful forms of synthetic marijuana); amphetamines-style concoctions known collectively as "bath salts"; a heroin substitute in pill form; a pernicious and toxic cocaine substitute called oxidado; and a drug called "krocodile" that is rampant in Eastern Europr and Russia. Except for the opioid kratom and salvia weed (both plant-based), a commonality among these emerging narcotics is their synthetic nature–almost always brewed using commercially-available, legal chemicals. The formulas feature hazardous additives such as battery acid, gasoline, and paint thinner, while dire side effects noted include cardiac arrest, hallucinogens, paranoia, and necrotic flesh (although even with a slightly classroom-scare MTV-shock-cut approach here, the tabloid-media version of bath salts literally turning users into flesh-eating zombies is couched in euphemism). In addition to doctors and counselors, young former addicts are interviewed, who tell emotional stories. Extras include a study guide.
—C.Cassady, Video Librarian
Recommended. This Human Relations Media production is a good, solid, overall view of drugs that are making the rounds with younger teens as well as young adults. Aimed at those age groups, the program targets the addictive properties, side effects (some of which are pretty horrific), and recovery issues of several new(er) substances. One of the take away messages is that these drugs, most of which are synthetic concoctions, are changing so quickly, it’s difficult to know what they’re made of—an issue that is a constant struggle for medical professionals who end up treating overdoses and lingering psychological problems.
Filmed in a traditional news show format, with comments from a group of teens, former drug users, and health care professionals, Emerging Drugs of Abuse hones in on the most popular and highly addictive drugs, the chapter headings giving a nice summary: Spice/K2, Bath Salts, Molly, Salvia & Kratom, Prescription Drugs, and Chemical Cocktails. The last chapter, Right Side Up, provides several suggestions for teens using or considering using drugs to realize they can get help—talking to someone they trust, being positive and staying true to yourself, among them. While these are targeting drug use here, they are all good ways to help weather the sometimes rocky road of adolescence.
The program provides very good coverage of a few stand-out issues: the problem of prescription drugs and how easily they can lead to other more dangerous drug use; the dangerous and unknown substances that are cut into such drugs as Molly, Spice, and other chemical cocktails; and the changing and somewhat devious marketing of these drugs to kids.
It’s always a little tricky to title a program “new” or “emerging” given the time constraints those words project.
Human Relations Media has a nice niche market to young adults and continues their high quality productions here. Recommended for high school media center collections, and education and health sciences collections in college and university libraries.
— Lori Widzinski, Multimedia Collections and Services, University Libraries, University at Buffalo, State University of New York
Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO)