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 2019 Monitoring the Future survey found that although past year use of synthetic cannabinoids by sophomores and seniors saw a five-year decrease, there was a one-year increase among eighth-graders.
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 or promotional activity.