Parents packed the room at Ponderosa High School Thursday night for El Dorado County's first ever town hall meeting about prescription drug abuse.
"The problem comes in when you overuse them take too much and then become dependent," El Dorado County District Attorney's Office investigator Dave Stevenson said.
Stevenson said El Dorado County has recently seen a 20 percent increase in prescription drug overdoses and as part of the District Attorney's plan combat the issue, they talked to local parents about how easy it is for their teenagers to get their hands on the drugs.
"Things have changed a lot since I've been in high school," Jason Hoffman said.
Many parents came to the meeting because of their concerns over Adderall abuse. In August, two Union Mine High School Football players collapsed after a game and were hospitalized with serious head injuries. Soon after, a fellow student was arrested for distributing Adderall.
"You know, at first, we thought it was just a football injury and then it became something more than that," Hoffman said.
"It's not only prescription drug abuse, but synthetic drugs that we're talking about tonight," Stevenson said.
Veronica Devon Eckhardt spoke at the meeting about their 19-year-old son Connor, who died last year after using spice just one time. He was a graduate of Capital Christian High School in Roseville.
"We thought we covered these issues with our kids. When we go the call that Connor was in a coma in the hospital we were in complete and utter shock," Veronica said.
"You don't have to do this for years and years one time can change your life and the lives of the people that love you," Devon said.
The Eckhardts have been speaking with families about the dangers of drug abuse for the past 15 months. They say that sharing Connor's story has resonated with a lot of families and started serious conversations. They believe that pressing the issue of how dangerous prescription and synthetic drug use is, even if kids try to shut down the conversation, can be the best tool in preventing a tragedy.
"Well, I think that's really the million dollar question but we know one things for sure. Knowledge about these drugs is the start of that conversation," Stevenson said.