Pubdate: Tue, 13 Dec 2011
Source: Santa Rosa's Press Gazette (FL)
Copyright: 2011 Freedom Communications
Author: Mathew Pellegrino


The Santa Rosa County school district is looking to stop a drug
problem in its schools before it gets out of control.

Spice, also known as K-2 and Blaze it is a potpourri substance sprayed
with a chemical. When smoked, the substance gives the same effects
that someone might feel while high on marijuana. The drug gained
popularity over the years, and is available at most gas stations and
smoke shops.

The federal government cracked down on the drug back in July banning
the chemical in the substance. Since the ruling, the school district
has continued to see the drug being used in the schools. The law
passed by the government does not outlaw the potpourri, but the actual
chemical it is sprayed with. Only lab tests can determine how much
chemicals, if any, have been sprayed on the potpourri.

Currently, anyone caught under the influence or selling the drug can
be removed from school.

"This is faster and more potent than marijuana," said Conni Carnley,
director of middle schools for the Santa Rosa County school district.

Right now director of high schools, Buddy Hinote said he and other
administrators are addressing the misuse of the drug on school
campuses, and are urging students not to use the synthetic drug
because it can be dangerous, and even deadly.

Recently, the district brought in a physician to Gulf Breeze High
school and middle schools to talk about the harmful affects of the
drug after a handful of students were caught high on the substance.

When a student gets high on the drug, most don't know how much
chemicals have been sprayed into the potpourri. If a large amount of
chemicals are sprayed into the potpourri, it can be deadly.

"In most cases it can put you in the hospital or kill you," Carnley

Carnley said there is no way to test how much chemicals are in the
spice when it is purchased, which makes it a dangerous mix with children.

"You are buying a bag of potpourri sprayed with a chemical," Hinote
said. "It's sold as potpourri, but it is not used in that fashion."

Carnley said she wanted students and parents to be aware of the drug
that is currently illegal to distribute and use in the state of Florida.

"We're doing out best to address the issue on campuses," Carnley said.
"Its' a conundrum at this point." 
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