JACKSON, MO (KFVS) - Parents got a lesson Tuesday night, but it wasn't in math or spelling, it was in synthetic drugs.
Local law enforcement met with parents to talk about drugs like bath salts, K-2 or synthetic marijuana, and Spice.
They're synthetic drugs officers said are in the Heartland and in the schools, some kids using as young as 11 years-old.
Donna Bullard a Student Service Specialist with Jackson Schools and Shelly Wood, the Project Coordinator for EPIC (Early Prevention Impacts Community) said it's important for parents to know about these drugs.
"This is a need, there are three service specialists in our district and on a daily basis we get questions either from teachers or staff and parents about what they need to look for or their concerned what their street might be doing is this a sign of drug use and those types of things," said Bullard.
"I think it's important for parents to know about new trends new drugs that are coming out and tends and things that people are using so they can be aware of the signs to look for," said Wood.
Officers talked about the dangers of the drugs…hallucinations, suicidal thoughts, headaches, chest pains, vomiting and increased heart rate and blood pressure to name a few.
The officers say people in the Heartland might put on their blinders to kids using drugs, but it's important to know what their children might be getting into.
"I would want parents to just be more educated about new drug trends things that are happening in the community, things that they can be aware of, on the look out for to help reduce substance abuse," said Wood.
"Because it can affect their education and just for them to know what signs and things to look for," said Bullard.
The drugs are constantly changing. While the packaging might have said "bath salts," now officers say it will say "plant food" or "jewelry cleaner."
The officers said you can just use common sense to spot some of these items in stores. If someone wants to charge you $30 dollars for "bath salts" the size of a sugar packet, the ingredients probably aren't meant for your bubble bath, but rather drug use.
Some of the drugs are even aimed at kids with packaging such a "Scooby" snacks and other colorful cartoon characters.
According to officers, the effects these drugs will have on kids can vary. Some might last an hour or two, others might not leave their system for months, or ever.
If parents want to know what they can do, officers said pay attention to who your children hang out with. Watch out for things disappearing from your home, the kids might be selling the items to buy drugs. Look for a change in mood or interests. Talk to your kids about the dangers of using drugs.