Survey: 1 in 10 AZ teens used spice or bath salts - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Survey: 1 in 10 AZ teens used spice or bath salts

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PHOENIX (CBS5) -

Alarming new numbers have been released on how teens are choosing to get high. One in 10 Arizona teens have used synthetic drugs like spice or bath salts.

Experts say these drugs are not going away and the trend is going to continue to explode.

"Some of the patients that use spice or K2 hallucinate quite a bit, sometimes they become agitated, confused, some of them have to be restrained," said Banner Health toxicologist Dr. Frank Lovecchio. 

Why do teens use them? Stephanie Siete, a drug outreach coordinator with Community Bridges, said it's because many of those drugs are still legal.

"They're available. They're accessible," she said.

The Arizona Criminal Justice Commission surveyed Arizona teens. Nearly 7 percent of eighth graders admit to trying it. The same can be said for 11 percent of high school sophomores and almost 14 percent of high school seniors.

"We hope the trend is going to decrease but unfortunately, month over month it's actually been increasing with synthetic drug use," said Lovecchio.

"I'm a little nervous about where this is going," said Siete.

She says the No. 1 reason teens use drugs is boredom. Siete says parents should be aware of drug use in their teens as winter break rolls around.

"You can go online right now and order this stuff. You can go to a hedge store or a convenient mart," she said.

Many laws have banned some chemicals used in these drugs, but there is a lot of room for synthetic drug makers.

"Twenty-five chemicals are federally banned. Here in Arizona our House Bill banned 10. There are over 400 chemicals known in terms of use with spice," said Siete.

Lovecchio said experts don't know what long-term effects those drugs will have on the body.

The survey found the drug used most among teens was alcohol. A little more than half of students said they drank.

Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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