District Attorneys across the state of Tennessee are launching a campaign to warn young people about the dangers of so-called "synthetic drugs."
The message is---just because they are legal and sold across the counter, doesn't mean they are safe.
The DA's are calling it a Deceptive Danger.
Those colorful packages you can find in some stores with harmless names like "bath salts" or "fish food" are not what they seem.
A former addict says they are substances created by out-of-work chemists..and they are downright scary.
BILL COX, HAM. CO DISTRICT ATTORNEY "The real danger of the synthetic drugs is , you don't know what's in them...chemicals that are mixed up somewhere by somebody to emulate the effects of actual drugs..they are chemical concoctions."
The district attorneys have a video circulating in schools to get the word out.
Dr. Allen Coffman of Hixson, President of the Tennessee State Pediatricians Association says he is seeing more of that abuse.
DR. R. ALLEN COFFMAN, PEDIATRICIAN "You don't take the medicine and its all out of your system, so you could ingest one of these synthetic drugs..and potentially have effects for months."
A Chattanogan named "Mike" has been there, done that..and wants others to know.
"MIKE", NOW IN DRUG COURT "I suffered a lot of physical effects, looking back now, you know..I was up for three, four days at a time..course I wasn't eating, I lost 30-40 pounds, blacking out at work. "
DR. R. ALLEN COFFMAN, JR., PEDIATRITIAN "The biggest problem with synthetic drugs is that children feel like...teen and young adults feel like they are safer...and the potency is, tends to be much higher." "The potential for overdose is much greater with synthetic drugs."
Parents need to be aware that any kid with a computer probably already knows what "bath salts" and "fish food" really are.
"MIKE" "I guess for kids today man, you know..don't put anything in your body that's not tested, just don't know about."
The District Attorneys are also working to halt a illegal activity with prescription medications.
Its one of the fastest growing crimes in the state.
"Mike" says the Hamilton country drug court literally saved his life.