EDITORIAL: Expand drug talks, parents

York Dispatch

We like to think most responsible parents at some point have a talk with their kids about drugs.

It's better impressionable children understand the dangers before they're approached by shady characters more than happy to get them high.

But we wonder if parents are covering all the bases during those discussions.

It's not just the street-corner dealer they need to be concerned about; their children might be getting drugs right out of the family medicine cabinet or even online.

During our recent series on heroin addiction and overdoses, York County Coroner Pam Gay told us about so-called "Skittle parties," where kids get together after raiding their parents' medications and everyone downs some of the multi-colored pills.

It's why Gay, law enforcement officers and health care professionals urge people to secure their medications and properly discard unused pills.

And now officials are renewing their warnings about synthetic marijuana, which has sickened more than a dozen people in eastern and central Pennsylvania — including three Springettsbury Township teens.

Township police and the York County Drug Task Force arrested two York City residents allegedly responsible for the batch of synthetic pot that sickened the trio, seizing 48 packages of the drug in the process.

Hospitals in the Allentown area were flooded one weekend last month with more than 50 cases involving teens suspected of using the drug – which is nothing more than organic material sprayed with unknown chemicals, the experts say.

Pennsylvania isn't the only state seeing an increase in synthetic pot use. According to The Associated Press, police reported "approximately 400" synthetic marijuana overdoses from Alabama to New York last month.

Although most states have banned the products — known by brand names such as Spice and K2 — or the chemicals used the produce it, the drug is still being made in other countries.

A quick online searched reveals people can still order it — despite its legal status.

So please parents, keep that — and your own medications — in mind during those important talks with your children.