Elizabethtown-Lewis junior Sarah Sandberg addresses members of the Bringing Essex County Stregths Together (BEST) Committee about her experience with K-2, a synthetic marijuana, during its Feb. 1 meeting.
Elizabethtown-Lewis junior Sarah Sandberg knows all too well the dangers of synthetic marijuana, because she has lived through what she called, “the scariest experience ever.”
Sandberg spoke to the Bringing Essex County Strengths Together (BEST) committee at the Board of Supervisors Chambers Feb. 1, and said that she got involved with the Prevention Team and counselor Dave Wyant because she experienced the affects of the drug, also known as K-2, while at a friends house earlier in the school year.
“I have had an experience with this drug and it’s not okay, and that is what brought me here,” Sandberg told the members of the committee and those assembled at the meeting to discuss the need to regulate the drug.
Sandberg said that she had never heard of synthetic marijuana like K-2 before some of the people she knew at school started talking about it, and said that she gave into the peer pressure.
“All my friends were doing it, so I thought, why not try,” she said, which she did at another’s house.
“The last thing that I remember from that day was that I took my first hit, and the next thing I knew I was waking up in the Emergency Room.”
Sandberg had suffered a seizure after taking that first hit, and said that she was transported to the hospital by her boyfriend.
“If he was not there and I had not brought my car, I don’t know what would have happened,” she said. “The others there were concerned that they did not want the police to come.”
She said that, at first, she was embarrassed that she had tried the synthetic drug, which can be purchased legally at some convenience stores and truck stops.
“I like being myself and not having something or someone else that makes me do things, so I was embarrassed that I had done it because it was what my friends were doing,” Sandberg said. “Then I talked to my mom about it, and she was very supportive. After that I talked about it with my friends and then with Mr. Wyant.”
Sandberg said that through those talks, she found the strength to be an advocate against the synthetic marijuana and its manufacturers and sellers.
“I don’t want to see my family or my friends hurt by this,” she said. “It changes your whole life, it was the scariest thing I ever went through. You see friends doing this and its scary because you could walk into school one day and they’re not going to be there anymore.”
Sandberg also said that she had experiences where she saw fellow students using the K-2 alongside parents.
So far, she said that her message has been received by some of her friends.
“Some of my friends got scared after I told them what happened to me, and they stopped doing it,” Sandberg said. “But, sometimes, it does not hit home for some people because they think that it is not going to happen to them.”
Wyant said that he was proud of Sandberg and fellow student Hannah Bender for talking with students about the dangers of K-2.
“It was totally done by them talking in teen group and deciding that something had to be done,” Wyant said. “I am proud of both of them because they got fired up and they would not let it go.”
Wyant said that, through the students, he hoped that there could be some good things that came from peer pressure.
“There is a lot of positive peer pressure when it comes to this subject, which is incredible,” Wyant said. “I have seen some incredible things just in the last week.”