PHOENIX — A new report from the Arizona Criminal Justice Commission reveals that 1 in every 10 Arizona teenagers has tried synthetic drugs.
Alcohol remains the No. 1 substance used by the largest percentage of Arizona youth 12-17 years old, according to the 2012 Arizona Youth Survey. Slightly more than half of all teens responded they have consumed alcohol in their lifetime.
Ecstasy is on the radar as 6 percent of youth report lifetime use but it is bath salts and spice that are growing concerns.
Valley emergency rooms are dealing with the effects more often.
Dr. Steven Stapczynski with the Maricopa Medical Center Emergency Department said he’s concerned, as should parents, about teens using spice, k2 and other synthetic drugs. No one knows what the long-term damage will be.
“The chemicals vary so you don’t know what you’re getting,” Stapczynski said.
Even though Arizona has banned synthetic drugs, teens are still getting them at some Valley shops and online. It’s not difficult because spice makers change the recipe just enough to get around the ban.
With the Christmas break just ahead, kids will have a lot of free time on their hands and that could mean more ER visits.
“I hope not but with anything if people have time and money they will find something to do,” Stapczynski said.
There’s one bright spot in the report. Prescription pain medication abuse fell from 17.6 percent to 13.8 percent for those reporting lifetime use and down from 8.1 percent to 6.2 percent for usage in the past 30 days.
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- 11 holiday classics for the ultimate movie marathon
- 2016 college football rivalry games you simply can't miss
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain
- The best places to celebrate Fall in Phoenix
- Infamous athletes who did the most time for their crimes
- Diet, exercise and aspirin: 3 tools to fight colon cancer
- 2016 baseball highlights, bloopers and blunders
- See how CFOs really feel about business in the Valley
- The best television shows on the internet
- The 5 worst things you could do for your roof
- 6 coolest things brewing in Arizona
- The virus that keeps head and neck cancers on the rise
- State Fair ‘Kid Reporter’ has all the angles covered
- 4 important things to know about timeshare maintenance fees
- Signs of delayed car crash injuries
- The truth about sports concussions
- The Alzheimer's epidemic: Facts you need to know
- The season is here, keep your Fantasy Football team strong all season
- 8 TV shows you can't miss this fall
- Football is here: 6 tips to make this your best season ever