Pine Grove experts host seminar on dangers of synthetic drugs

Pine Grove experts host seminar on dangers of synthetic drugs

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Two experts on synthetic drugs in South Mississippi are issuing new warnings about their use and negative effects.

Issac Boose, director of Pine Grove Behavioral Health and Addiction Services' Next Step treatment program for men and Vanessa Cox, clinical director of the Next Step program, hosted an educational seminar Wednesday designed to help health professionals understand the growing problem.

They presented, "Bath Salts, Molly and Spice: The Danger of Synthetic Drug Use," at Southern Oaks and Gardens.

It was offered to social workers, psychologists, professional counselors, mental health therapists and students in those fields.

"It's very important that we talk about it just to make people aware of it, because the main thing is prevention," said Issac Boose. "Usually, some people who use these synthetic drugs, they think they're using a minimal amount, but the drugs are very potent, so it's very important that people get this information," he said.

"I'm very fearful," said Vanessa Cox. "The research has shown, in just one month alone, over 400 cases here, just in our community, and a number of deaths, so the long-term impact that it's having on people, (is very) scary," she said.

The seminar was presented as part of Mental Health Awareness Month.