Drug epidemic sweeping Bergen County


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Seemingly harmless, everyday toiletries such as these bath salts can be harmful when misused.

by Anastasia Zenkevich, Staff Writer

Bath salts and spice. They seem like items you may find at your local supermarket, but they are actually very harmful substances when used in the wrong way.

Synthetic drugs pose a serious and growing issue for the youth of Bergen County. The amount of deaths from overdose on synthetic drugs in Bergen county has increased over the past decade.

Chris Lewicki, a detective on the narcotics task force for the Bergen county prosecutor’s office, said that drugs are “an epidemic.”

The school sees synthetic drugs as a threat to the students and has decided to put supports in place to ensure that people attending Glen Rock High school will not consume these harmful substances.

As opposed to marijuana and heroin, synthetic drugs are man-made, using chemicals as stimulants. They can be extremely dangerous because they can cause suicidal thoughts, agitation, violent behavior, confusion, hallucinations, increased heart rate, hypertension, and chest pain. Death or other serious injury as a result of overdose is always a possible consequence.

Heather Nover is the school’s Student Assistance Counselor and works to bring awareness about the dangers of these drug. The school has posted information for parents on the school website. Nover covers synthetic drugs in her presentations at parent forums. Throughout the years, the school has hosted assemblies and parent outreach meetings to bring awareness.

Unlike many school districts, there is no random drug testing done at Glen Rock High School. However, if a student is suspected of being under the influence of a substance in school, they will be required to take a drug test.

These drug tests are able to detect many substances, but there is a huge issue in that synthetic drugs are very hard to detect on drug tests. This is because drug manufacturers can change the chemical formula very easily, making it more appealing to students.

If anyone is struggling or needs to talk, Mrs. Nover is located in the senior hallway across from room B152. Students are always welcome if they need support or help.