Wednesday the 20th MVCH and Camp Hope held a Great Conversation at St Luke’s Health Care Clinic about synthetic and designer drugs like Spice and Bath Salts. We had a great turnout, about 30 people. Representatives from FYI, La Frontera, LCPS Head Start, CYFD, Community Foundation – UP Coalition, and members of the greater Las Cruces community attended. As Randy Harris led us into discussion, it became clear that some of the folks in the room did not really know about this problem.
With the help of an intern from St Luke’s, Anthony Cook, we spent 15 minutes just covering the basics of the history and facts about Spice and Bath Salts. We were also fortunate to have three men share their own experiences with their addiction to Spice, and how hard it was to detox and quit. As the floor opened up for discussion, it was clear that there are some serious concerns in many different circles in our community. Like how to identify these substance abusers, is their any treatment available, what are the best practices to deal with either students or their parents suspected of using in LCPS system, what can we as a community do to raise more awareness, how can we find ways to restrict the sale of these substances in Head Shops gas stations and other local businesses.
I feel like this is just the beginning of this conversation that will hopefully continue with other groups in Las Cruces and beyond. I have already been invited to speak at one of the local high schools next month, and have been receiving calls from other groups interested in getting on board with this community action to deal with these issues. And we hope that other groups will invite Randy to moderate similar conversations that will create more community collaboration.