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December 20, 2014

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Five targets for police fighting drug use in Clark County schools

As school police fight drug abuse among students, they’re tackling a handful of emerging drugs frequently popping up on high school campuses in Clark County. Marijuana use remains a constant battle, but police have put increasing focus on curbing use of the following:

    • An assortment of prescription drugs is seen at a pharmacy.

      Prescription drugs

      The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates 20 percent of people in the United States have abused prescription drugs — in other words, used them without medical cause. They’re the pills found in medicine cabinets across the country and include painkillers, sedatives and stimulants. Nonmedical use is illegal.

    • A package of K2, a concoction of dried herbs sprayed with chemicals, is shown in February 2010. Clark County teens are increasingly using chemically treated, smokable leaves, known by names such as "Spice" and "K2," and bath salts that are snorted or smoked as a hallucinogen.

      Spice

      Also known as K2, spice is a synthetic version of marijuana discovered by a Clemson University professor in 1995, said Steve Ufford, a Clark County School District Police officer.

      Often marked as “fake weed,” it’s a mixture of herbs and spices sprayed with a man-made compound similar to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The Nevada State Board of Pharmacy approved an emergency order this year banning the substance, Ufford said.

    • These are examples of the drug known as "bath salts," displayed by a lawmaker in January 2011. The salts contain toxic chemicals that some people are using to get a psychotic high.

      Bath salts

      Bath salts are synthetic stimulants that can mimic the effects of methamphetamine, said Ufford.

      The drug is often sold in powder form and can be ingested by snorting, swallowing, smoking or injecting into the veins, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

      The Nevada State Board of Pharmacy approved an emergency order this year banning the substance, Ufford said.

    • A clubgoer in Argentina holds an Ecstasy pill in January 2009.

      Thizz

      Thizz is a variation of ecstasy that originated on the West Coast, Ufford said. Thizz made its way to the Las Vegas Valley by 2009, he said.

    • A cosmopolitan cocktail sits atop a date rape drug detection coaster. The coasters have test spots that are supposed to turn dark blue in about 30 seconds if a splash of alcohol contains drugs  often used to incapacitate victims.

      GHB

      Commonly known as the “date-rape drug,” GHB is the generic drug sodium oxybate, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration. It’s usually sold as a liquid or powder to dissolve in liquid.

      “It actually came to the attention of law enforcement probably in the early ’90s,” Ufford said. “We’re still dealing with it, and it’s usually the college-type atmosphere that it’s prevalent as well as the clubs.”

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