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West Springfield High School Tackling Student Drug Use

K2 SpiceWEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — Have you heard of K2? How about Spice?  Your kids might have already. Both are names for synthetic marijuana with some dangerous side effects.

While 1 in 9 teens nationwide have admitted using K2 or Spice, one local high school is taking the problem head-on.

ABC4o News spoke with West Springfield High School student, Dylan Benoit who’s a Junior and he told us he has his mind made up about K2.  As for his peers he’s not so sure.

“Some teens will be like ‘oh, I just smoked pot’ then they’ll do acid, then they’ll do pills, and then it leads to heroin, and it’s like, I just think it’s not that good of a decision,” explains Benoit.

K2 or Spice is a synthetic marijuana mixture of herbs sprayed with chemicals.  It’s meant to create a high similar to smoking weed.  It’s side effects include migraines, changes in mood, even heart attacks or strokes.

Most states including Massachusetts banned synthetic drugs in 2012.

During that time was when Principal Michael Richard first saw fake weed rear its head at the West Springfield High School.

“We had an issue as recently as last year and it turns out the drug the kids are using was the synthetic marijuana at the time it came out.  It’s easy to access, or too easy to access,” says Richard.

Especially since you could get it at a gas station or a convenience store.

It might be hard to resist as a curious teen and although it might also be as equally as hard to keep the attention of some teens, it’s a challenge Principal Richard is up for.

“We have adjustment counselors who work with our faculty to help them to be able to identify which students may be using and or abusing any kind of drug. We also have a school resource officer who is a tremendous asset to our building to help faculty and students understand the dangers associated with use and abuse,” adds Richard.

It doesn’t stop there though.  Through a grant, a drug and alcohol counselor will be available for students starting next week.

Also happening next week, former Boston Celtic Chris Herren will be visiting the school to talk about the horrible effects drug use had on his NBA career and life.


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