Legal Highs

We have all heard about the problems that illegal drugs can cause, but what about the legal ones.  Every day products like bath salts, spices or prescription meds that are abused in order to get a high.  What will the next big legal high be? We sat down with two experts to find out.

"Its like a tornado it comes through the community and takes a hold and knocks everything down," says Randy Feathers who is the Regional Director for the Bureau of Narcotics for the Attorney General's office.

The tornado he is describing doesn't bring rain and high winds, but it can still destroy your life.

"We have a whole group of chemicals that are legally available and not that expensive and people think because I can go to the store and buy it it must be ok," says Phillip Harchack who is a certified drug education instructor.

A legal high is taking every day items likes bath salts, catnip, nutmeg or even cough syrup to get a fix.

Legal highs are cheaper and easier to get but the results can be just as deadly.

"We think if we just try something once I will get over it I am not an addict but a lot of times people don't understand that just trying some of these substances once they have an incredible feed for more of them," says Harchack.

Phillip Harchack is a former State Police Sergeant who is now using his 25 plus years of law enforcement experience to conduct drug education seminars for business leaders, teachers and parents.

Agent Randy Feathers has over 30 years in law enforcement and is the regional director for the Attorney General's Bureau of Narcotics.

They agree that information is the key to education, but the internet where information is available with just the click of a mouse can be the devil in disguise.  Law enforcement can use it as resource to find what the next legal drug of choice may be, but dealers and users abuse it as a recipe exchange.

"K-3 is showing up because the K-2 is made illegal so k-3 and k-4--actually in 2010 there were 30 new synthetic cannabinoids which are the chemicals related to k-2.  We are constantly chasing the tail of the problem," says Harchack.

Another part of the problem is already in your home.  Users will play Russian roulette with over the counter and prescription drugs thinking because they are legal that can't be that dangerous but they are.

"90% of our overdoses are prescription drugs it is similar to Blizzard in the sense people think because they are legal that they cant be dangerous and abused and they can be," says Feathers.

Teaching children to make smart choices is the best weapon in the war on drugs both legal and illegal ones.  But the thinking that is is OK to make mistakes as long as you learn from them has to change.

"Drugs are harder.  Kids make mistakes and they don't recover from those mistakes the heroin the crack, the blizzard, prescription drugs, these are hard drugs not drugs you can make a mistake and move on with your life," warns Feathers.

If you would like to contact Phillip Harchack about his drug education seminars you can reach him at

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