Newport News hope to reduce synthetic drug use by young people

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by Karen Hopkins, 13News

WVEC.com

Posted on May 15, 2013 at 1:59 PM

NEWPORT NEWS - Newport News Police are catching students smoking spice in school and officers want to put a stop to the crime.

"I saw a student in the cafeteria, breathing heavily with his head down on the table," Officer Bill Zins said.

Officer Zins said he asked the student what was wrong.

"Then the student pulled his hands off his face, and said 'I feel like I'm in hell!"

Turns out, the student had smoked spice in the school's bathroom at Denbigh High.

"He told me he smoked it, and he had the spice in this shirt pocket," Officer Zins explained.

After that case last year, Officer Zins is working to crack down on spice. He started a class to teach students about the dangers of the drug. Zins explained spice is a problem in schools throughout Hampton Roads.

"I asked the students to raise their hands if they knew anyone who did spice; about a third of the class raised their hands."

As for the student caught smoking at school, Zins said he could not arrest the student.

While state law bans spice, makers are altering the chemicals inside the drug to avoid prosecution.

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