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He thought he could fly off the cliff at Lone Pine State Park. The drug was that powerful. The hallucinations seemed that real.

Before the teenager could leap into the air and fall hundreds of feet into the wooded forest below, his friends grabbed him.

This was the first time they all tried salvia, a hallucinogenic drug that is illegal in 24 states but not Montana.

The following week, Kalispell Police Officer Jason Parce gave a classroom presentation about the dangers of drug use at Glacier High School. He mentioned salvia and warned about the dangers of "one of the strongest hallucinogenic drugs available."

Afterward the teenage student approached Parce. He confessed about his experience a few days earlier and told the story about almost jumping off the Lone Pine cliffs. The teenager was shocked at what salvia could do.

Since becoming a student resource officer at Glacier three years ago, Parce has often found himself in this position, juggling the role of law enforcement and counselor on the front lines of the battle against underage drinking and drug use.

Alcohol and marijuana use among teenagers is nothing new. But recent incidents have illustrated a larger scope of substances infiltrating the valley's schools.

Parce and his Flathead High School counterpart, Tim Falkner, described the changing landscape of underage substance abuse at the eighth annual Stop Underage Drinking in the Flathead Town Hall Meeting on March 20 at the Red Lion Hotel. A 10-person panel spoke about the possible dangers and consequences of substance abuse and the need for awareness and education.

There has been an increase in drug activity and a growing lineup of new substances being used in the valley's schools, Parce said. Teenagers are abusing prescription pills and over-the-counter medicines at higher rates than in the past. Last year officers also noticed an influx of new intoxicants, namely synthetic cocaine, synthetic marijuana and salvia.

The U.S. Department of Justice issued a national warning about the growing "domestic threat" of synthetic cocaine, or synthetic cathinones. The drug is marketed as "bath salts" or "plant food," and is considered a heavy stimulant. Products are sold legally under various names like Ivory Wave or Blizzard either online or in retail establishments across the country, according to the DOJ report. Regulation and enforcement of the drug is difficult because it has not yet been classified under the Federal Controlled Substances Act. Possession and distribution may be prosecuted but with greater difficulty, the report said.

Salvia has a similar legal distinction in some states but the Drug Enforcement Agency has listed it as a "drug of concern" and is considering classifying it as a Schedule I drug, like LSD or marijuana.

"A lot of these kids don't even know what they're taking," said Nikki Tannheimer, a deputy juvenile probation officer who spoke at the town hall meeting. "And unfortunately they don't know what the side effects are."

The possible repercussions of using these drugs can range from slumping academics to car accidents to violent assault or even rape, Tannheimer said.