WACO, Texas (KWTX) Local drug enforcement officers and substance abuse counselors say illegal drug use among Waco area teenagers is on the rise and that many are getting the drugs at school.
"Anywhere people turn today it's in their face,” Cenikor manager of Outpatient Counseling services Kiran Virani said.
Young people are heavy users of social media and that’s here they find those they idolize glorifying drug use, he says.
"They see these actors and actresses rappers singers talk about drug use glorify it it's all over the place."
Shawn Lippe, who heads the McLennan County's Sheriff's Office Organized Crime Unit, says parents need to be concerned with painkillers such as hydrocodone and OxyContin.
He says the use of synthetic marijuana, such as K2 or Spice, and heroin and opioids is also on the rise.
Drug Enforcement Administration Agent Steve Robertson agrees.
“Drug use among young people, in fact people for that matter is on the rise. It's so bad that the attorney general has called for a national heroin and opioids awareness week from Sept. 19-23,” he said.
The effects of K2 and other synthetic drugs laced with chemicals can be severe, Kiran said.
"I've seen one young person resort to cannibalism and eating flesh after taking some,” he said.
Lippe says the drugs can have a real down side effect on the young person’s body.
"We've seen teenagers overdose on heroin and we have also seen on a couple of incidences where we had teenagers actually have a reaction to K2 spice that's put them in comas".