Omaha, NE -- 18-year-old Billy Tucker died from smoking synthetic marijuana, and his father has a message for parents, and kids. Steve Tucker hopes to keep other families from feeling the heartache from this dangerous drug.
The substance looks like marijuana, but it's sold as potpourri. K2 or synthetic marijuana is marketed to kids, with names like Scooby Snax and Crazy Clown.
Tucker lost his son, Billy, to synthetic drugs on October 13th. After partying with friends, the teen was found dead with Scooby Snax in his pocket. Tucker says his son was a normal 18-year-old trying to make some money to go to college.
"First of all we're in shock. We never even knew our son was taking this, nobody gave us any signs, he didn't even give us any signs,” Steve Tucker explained. "This thing is spreading like wildfire, but yet it has consequences that not many people are aware of."
Steve is working with local groups to talk to students and parents about the dangers of K2 and other drug abuse.
Nebraska law bans the sale of K2, but companies keep changing the ingredients to skirt the law making them even stronger and more dangerous. Chemists change the molecules that aren’t listed in local laws. They then spray the synthetic drugs on the “potpourri”.
Tucker says parents need to be aware of where their kids are getting it including so called “Head Shops”. He says monitor your child's Facebook page and text messages for key phrases like LGHT, or "Let's get high tonight."
"I've seen it before and didn't know what it meant. IGHT, "I'm getting high tonight". It's right there in front of our nose and we didn't even know it," Tucker described.
And his message to teens is don't be afraid to tell an adult that a friend is using K2.
"All these kids that feared this that were friends with my son, what kind of a friendship do they have now," Tucker concluded.
According to a 2012 national survey, 1 in 9 high school seniors reported using synthetic marijuana.
Tucker says the seminar for students and parents will take place on December 30th after the Ashland-Greenwood Basketball Tournament scheduled that night. Anyone is welcome to attend. The Ashland-Greenwood High School is located at 1842 Furnas St. Ashland, NE.
Tucker has also started a Facebook page called K2 and Synthetic Drug Awareness in Nebraska