Forum to explain the dangers of synthetic drugs

WESLACO — Seats are filling up for a regional forum on the dangers of synthetic drugs.

The Regional Stakeholder Symposium on Synthetic Drugs is set for Feb. 26 at Weslaco City Hall.

But only 35 to 40 seats remain, said Elizabeth Urbina, a drug prevention specialist with Communities Against Substance Abuse, or CASA, an anti-drug group in Willacy County.

The forum will focus on the dangers of drugs such as synthetic marijuana and flakka, a synthetic drug compared to cocaine but more dangerous.

Synthetic marijuana use has hit “epidemic” levels in parts of the Rio Grande Valley, Urbina said.

She said hospital emergency rooms report treating synthetic drug users in the area.

“It’s literally deadly,” Urbina said.

She said many users do not know the drug’s deadly makeup.

“Some people still think it’s a type of marijuana,” Urbina said. “But it does a whole lot more. It’s killing people and causing psychological effects.”

For more information on the forum, call Violeta Davila at 956-787-7111, ext. 290.