New Psychoactive Substances (synthetics) Event Toolkit

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If you are interested in an event that focuses primarily on New Psychoactive Substances (synthetics), here are links to resources from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and others.

Warning Sign

Marketed as a safe and legal alternative to illicit drugs, new psychoactive substances (NPS) – also known as K2, Spice, bath salts, herbal incense, or “synthetic marijuana” – have chemical compositions that are often widely unknown, potentially causing a wide variety of dangerous health consequences, including heart trouble, vomiting, agitation, confusion, hallucinations, violence, suicidal thoughts, and even death. In many cases, an unknown combination of potentially toxic chemicals are sprayed on plant material and sold as an alternative to marijuana.

In recent years, these substances have been notoriously easy to purchase in gas stations, novelty shops or over the internet. That accessibility, combined with the misperception that some of these products are “natural” and therefore harmless, has made these drugs popular among the high-school age group. For example, NIDA’s 2016 Monitoring the Future survey found that of the illicit drugs most used by high-school seniors, synthetic cannabinoids are third only to hallucinogens and marijuana.

Many of these substances are also marketed as a “legal high,” helping them rapidly gain in popularity over the last decade. The severe misperception associated with these drugs has led to an uptick in use and a corresponding uptick in overdoses – particularly among young people.

If your community is interested in holding an NPS event for National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week®, we have resources to assist you in planning your event.

Find an Expert: If you choose to have a New Psychoactive Substances (synthetics) expert at your event, use these tips for finding the right person: Adult Advisors and Sponsors for National Drug and Alcohol Facts Week®.

Synthetic Cathinone (Bath Salts) Resources

bath salts

NOTE: All resources are available online only unless otherwise indicated.

Additional Resource for International NDAFW Events

Synthetic Cannabinoid (K/2 or “synthetic marijuana”) Resources

K/2

NOTE: All resources are available online only unless otherwise indicated.

Multimedia and Interactive Resources

Activity Ideas

Check out the images below to see what event organizers have been doing for NDAFW!

Need more ideas? Check out the Get Activity Ideas page, photos from past events on our Flickr page, and events on our View Events Map page.