Parents tackle exploding drug industry - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Parents tackle exploding drug industry

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

"Spice," "beans," "benzos," "z-bar." There are some dangerous designer drugs out there and the experts say - even if you don't know what they are, chances are your teen does.

The experts with SAFE - Substance Abuse Free Environment - said Henrico, Chesterfield, and Richmond have the most drug-related deaths in Virginia, second only to car deaths.

An event at James River High School by SAVVY, Substance Abuse Awareness Vital for Virginia Youth is working on battling just that.  It's part of a program organized by the Virginia ABC.

Experts say the number of drugs for parents to watch for these days, is exploding.  

"It does seem like somebody is paying attention to what is being made illegal so that plans for that can be made and new products can be brought into the market," said Linda Jackson, with the Va Dept. of Forensic Science.

And here's the scary reality: The latest drugs don't always look like drugs and they don't always sound like drugs either.

When asked whether they recognized some of the trendiest new drugs, like "Red Velvet", "Ivory Wave", and "K3" -  many parents said no.

Parents say what's scarier is that for all these terms they don't know, their kids do know.

"They speak the language," said Doris Bey, a mother and teacher. "They speak in codes. They speak the language and we have to learn the language and be able to speak with them as well."

Parents went to a conference in Chesterfield to learn more about what their kids are facing and how to protect them.

"There's so many different things that they can use and so many different resources that they can look to and get help," said Hil Camoconde.

And experts confirm the Internet can be a drug-seeking teen's best friend - it can also be a parent's best tool. 

If you're wondering about some of those drugs mentioned, here's how to decipher them:

"z-bars" are code for the prescription Zanax.

"Benzos" are tranquilizers.

"Ivory Wave" and "Red Dover" are code for bath salts.

To learn more about SAVVY and resources for parents: click here.

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