A public forum to discuss the authentic dangers of synthetic drugs will take place Tuesday, April 30, at 7 p.m. in Rolla.
The forum is scheduled to be held in room 134 of the Rolla Technical Center, 500 Forum Drive.
“Anyone who is open to learning more about the dangers of these drugs is encouraged to attend,” said John Woodfin, with the Phelps County Child Advocacy Network (PCCAN).
Woodfin said representatives from local law enforcement agencies are expected to attend as well as representatives from Phelps County Regional Medical Center.
“There will be professionals who can better answer questions about the usage of these drugs and the dangers,” Woodfin said. “There will be more opportunity for questions and answers.”
Also attending will be Dr. Jeffrey Tucker, of Springfield, whose son died as a result of using synthetic drugs. Tucker will share his experience with attendees.
Woodfin said he encourages parents of young children to attend “so they’re aware of how dangerous these drugs are.”
While drugs such as marijuana, cocaine and methamphetamine are dangerous, the synthetic versions of these drugs are even more potent, according to Woodfin. Synthetic drugs can make people do things they would not normally do, he added.
While there have been some legislative efforts to make the substances illegal and law enforcement agencies have cracked down on making synthetic drugs less accessible, “they can still be purchased online or in other states,” Woodfin said.
“They’re still a danger and we want to raise awareness and provide some education,” Woodfin said.
The public forum was made possible through funding provided to PCCAN by the Missouri Department of Mental Health, Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse with additional funding provided by the Phelps County Anti-Drug Committee.
PCCAN held a similar public forum last year on heroin usage, according to Woodfin.