Tips, warning signs for parents

  • Updated: September 22, 2011 - 2:43 PM

Block drug-selling websites on your computer. Review credit card bills for unusual purchases. Consider at-home drug test kits. And more...

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A selection of synthetic drugs, on the shelf at the Last Place on Earth in Duluth the day before the ban went into effect.

Photo: Peterson, Brian, Dml - Brian Peterson Star Tribu

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COMMUNICATION

Talk to your kids about the risks of using drugs.

INTERNET

Check websites and see which ones your teen has been visiting. If someone has been researching synthetic drugs, they may have visited erowid.org, a popular source of information. You can program your browser to block this site or sites that sell synthetic drugs. Try a simple Google search like "best way block websites."

CREDIT CARDS

Track purchases made with family credit cards. Sites selling synthetic drugs often accept payment from companies such as AlertPay. Some sellers camouflage their names: everyonedoesit.com showed up on a Star Tribune account as "URT1 Limited."

PACKAGES

Watch for packages you didn't order. In test purchases conducted by the Star Tribune, foreign packages carried misleading customs labels such as "eye lashes," "gift" and "herbal supplement."

PRODUCTS

Synthetic drugs are often sold in foil packets or small glass jars. You may find traces of white powder, dried residue or ash.

BEHAVIOR

Warning signs include new friends, increased secrecy about activities or possessions and more borrowing of money.

DRUG TESTS

Bath salts and other synthetics don't show up on most standard tests, so don't be misled if your child has passed one. If you want to test at home, companies are selling kits that can supposedly detect the presence of some chemicals used in bath salts and synthetic pot.

Source: Staff research

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