Police say synthetic drugs are the most dangerous drugs on the street, and some of the easiest to get. In fact, nearly one in nine high school seniors say they've used them to get high in the last year.
There is one mother whose tragic loss has her on a mission to spread the word about the inherent dangers of synthetic drugs.
Despite having an expansive support system and a very bright future as an engineer, Ben Holmes, 21, took his life on June 25, 2012. Ben's mother, Stacey Hazen, did not know until after his death, but Ben was using synthetic drugs and facing jail time as a result.
Hazen believes her son's synthetic drug use and the pending legal troubles pushed him over the edge. Her message to young people: They're not simple, they're dangerous and they're effect is dangerous or deadly," Hazen said.
Here are some clues that someone you may know is using:
anxious or jittery behavior.
Decreased need for sleep.
Lack of appetite.
Violence or self mutilation.
The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology is hosting a program on the subject at the Surbeck Center October 1, at 6 p.m. The free event is open to the public.