GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) -- High school students are getting a different kind of lesson in the classroom, after authorities look to spread awareness about a new dangerous drug they're seeing in Grand Valley schools.
Drug education is nothing new to students, but when there's urgency, sometimes the message becomes clearer.
"It’s one thing when you hear, don't do this, don't do that," Central High School sophomore Blake Rogers said. "It was sort of shocking to know that it's starting to come about and that kids are actually using [this new drug]."
The Mesa County Sheriff's Office is working to spread awareness about a new synthetic drug after it was found in local schools, known as 25-i or N-Bome by its street names.
Dangerous because of its microgram dosages, it's already caused hundreds of overdoses and dozens of deaths across the country.
"The dosage is so small that it's very easy to overdose on,” Mesa County Sheriff deputy Chad Williams said. "Let's get ahead of it and get the information out on it so kids are wise to what they're looking at."
Now for the first time in 12 years, the Mesa County Sheriff's Office is taking its message into the classroom.
"We exposed the whole student body basically today during one of their classes," Central High School counselor Misty Sellden said. Counselors and administrators went class to class showing a movie produced by the sheriff’s office about the drug that discussed the dangers, risks and other information about the drug.
The hope is to make students more aware of the drug so they can make the smart decision should it ever cross their path.
"The immediacy of it is because of the strength of the drug and the potency and really having an awareness campaign with the students," Sellden said.
Though the video was shocking, some students are hopeful the message will be heard by their peers.
“Hopefully with this message going out, this is maybe going to influence kids to maybe not try it," Rogers said.
Others say it's already sparked discussions among students, raising new awareness on the dangers of N-Bome.
"I’ve had conversations with people now. Like I said, I went home and talked to my little brother about it, so I think it's spreading the awareness," Central High senior Lynzee Dwyer said.
For authorities, ultimately it’s a message they want to get out before it becomes too late.
"You don't want to wait until some tragedy happens and then we have to go through the schools and talk about this," Williams said.
Authorities say the drug can also be purchased online which may give some the misconception that it's a legal drug. That is not the case, as it is still very much illegal in the eyes of law enforcement.
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