Vaporizing marijuana in e-cigarettes and "skittling" are among the latest drug trends among teens in Harford County, according to Joe Ryan, head of the county's Office of Drug Control Policy.
Teens are finding new ways to mask marijuana use, Ryan said, and are taking the tobacco out of electronic cigarettes, also called e-cigarettes, and replacing it with marijuana.
"The kids will take the cigarette out of the e-cigarettes and instead put marijuana in it," Ryan said during the Abingdon Community Council meeting Monday night. "They will go to school take it into the stall and you will never smell it because of the vaporization."
Ryan said people who see e-cigarettes lying around their home should check them to ensure their children are not using them to hide marijuana use.
Teenagers in Harford County are also hosting pharming parties, Ryan said. He said teens will throw a bunch of different pills, prescription and synthetic, into a bowl and randomly digest them.
"This is called skittling or trail mix," Ryan said. "Teens are popping pills many times the recommended dose and it looks like candy."
Ryan said teens will also put the random pills into brown paper bags and eat them, similar to trail mix.
According to Ryan, 55 percent of kids age 12 or older get pills from their friends or relatives for free.
"People are getting these from scary drug dealers out there," Ryan said. "Kids have to learn how to set up their refusal skills now."
Harford County, in collaboration with local police departments, is hosting a Prescription Drug Take Back Day on April 26 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Ryan said. He said drugs can be dropped off at the County Office Building, Havre de Grace Police Station or Maryland State Police Bel Air Barrack, which also has a permanent drop-off box.
Suspicious activity calls rise
Lt. Hugh John Dougherty, of the Harford County Sheriff's Office, said calls for suspicious incidents have risen in the Abingdon area between February 2013 and February this year.
The Harford County Sheriff's Office reported 848 calls for service in February 2013 in Abingdon and 1,160 calls in 2014.
Dougherty said the increase in calls does not mean there is an increase in crime in the area. Instead, he said it means people in Abingdon are more aware of what is happening in their neighborhood.
"We like to be busy preventing something from happening or stopping it in the act, then being called after the fact," Dougherty said during the community council meeting.
Dougherty said the Abingdon area has also seen a slight increase in car accidents last month in comparison to 2013. Six accidents were reported in 2014 and only three in 2013.
He said the increase in accidents is probably attributed to the heavy snow and ice the county had this winter.