As the Utica Police make their first arrest under the newly passed city ordinance regarding synthetic drugs, one organization is holding a two day workshop to inform the community about current drug patterns.
Participants will mainly be informed about drugs that are currently being used, like bath salts and other trends seen throughout the state of New York.
And as many treatment professional did attend this event, Eyewitness News spoke with one man who says he was heavily into drugs at one point in his life and is now trying to help others.
"I just got tired of it, tired of living that life. When you lose the trust of your family that was the most devastating to me," said John Coppins.
58-year-old Coppins has been clean for about twenty years. He's now studying at Mohawk Valley Community college majoring in chemical dependency.
"You know the old expression; it takes one to know one. You're not going to put too much over on me. I want to get in the field to help people. If I save one person I feel as though I have done something great in my life," said Coppins.
Which is why John Coppins is attending the professional training coalition 2-day training at the Radisson Hotel in Utica.
One area expert, Dr. Ellen Vachon will be talking about the current drug patterns. Dr. Vachon will also cover 35 drugs that are currently being abused right here in Central New York, including the synthetic drug commonly known as bath salts.
"When you combine one drug with another drug, it's not two. It's the equivalent of taking 3, 4, 5, or six. People overdose very quickly so the idea of getting to know all the realms of drug that is out there and the route of the administrations and the way it gets into the bodies," said Dr. Vachon.
Dr. Vachon says bath salts may be more rampant throughout Central New York because the area did not experience the meth crisis when the rest of the state was. She says the active ingredients in bath salts come from a meth-like substance.
But, earlier this month, President Barack Obama passed a law, banning 26 synthetic substances.
"It's comparable when we had the meth lab epidemics and had Sudafed. But now you have to produce an id or log. That's what we are talking about here. It's the same thing. The two active ingredients are outlawed," said Dr. Vachon.
There will be a public forum next week on the 24th at the Radisson in Utica.
A panel of experts and public officials will be talking about what's being done in the community to tackle synthetic drugs.