On the heels of the death of 19-year-old Logan Matthew Kushner in a Clearwater park Jan. 8, the Center for Public Safety Innovation (CPSI) and the Multijurisdictional Counterdrug Task Force Training (MCTFT) program at St. Petersburg College’s Allstate Center have released an hour-long training video called “Designer Drugs: The New Frontier.”
The video looks at the new and emerging synthetic and designer drug threat, who is most at risk and what can be done to prevent it. Some experts in Bangor, Maine, for instance, say this is the worst drug epidemic they have ever seen.
These drugs are often sold as incense or bath salts and are marked ‘not for human consumption,’ and they are anything but harmless. Some of the chemicals are illegal, but the makers of these substances often change the ingredients slightly to skirt the laws. Kids are experimenting with them and the adults in their lives don’t always know what they are.
The video was shared with all Pinellas County high schools this week and includes information on:
- What are designer drugs
- What can happen to people who take them
- The strategies coalitions can use to prevent their use
- What law enforcement should know when approaching someone who may be using designer drugs
Content providers include:
Gary Boggs, Special Agent and Executive Assistant in the Office of Diversion Control for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. A former Orange County Sheriff’s deputy, Boggs has worked for the DEA since 1985.
Aaron Byzak has been president of North Coastal Prevention Coalition (NCPC) in Vista, Calif., since 2008. Byzak also is the director of Government and Community Affairs for the University of California San Diego Health Sciences. In this role, he handles all legislative and community relations activities on behalf of UC San Diego Health System, the UCSD School of Medicine and the Skaggs School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences at UCSD.
Dr. Mark Ryan is the Director of the Louisiana Poison Center, where he assists in the medical management of poisoned or overdosed patients and provides poison prevention and awareness education to help reduce the incidence of accidental poisonings.
He also is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Emergency Medicine at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport.
The Multijurisdictional Counterdrug Task Force Training (MCTFT) program provides unique, tuition-free, courses covering all aspects of counterdrug law enforcement and training support for community anti-drug coalitions. The MCTFT is a division of the Center for Public Safety Innovation.