INDIANOLA, Iowa (WHO) — Spring is always painful for Jan Rozga and her family. 

Twelve years ago, one week after he graduated from high school, her son David killed himself.  It happened ninety minutes after he smoked synthetic marijuana known as “K2”. It was legal and purchased a Des Moines mall.

“We didn’t find out about it until a few days after we lost him,” she remembers, “the reality is that K2 altered his sense of reality that day.”

Within weeks, the Rozgas learned that few people had heard of the drug.  They became advocates for stricter laws that would ban the substance, and within a few years, legislation named after David was passed. 

The victory was important, but Jan was looking for healing.  She started writing. “In addition to crying and praying and crying and praying, I’m just going to sit down at the computer,” she said, “and I thought it might be therapeutic and once I got it on the page, it would stay on the page.”

More than a decade later, her words are here to help others. “You meet a lot of people who are hurting and who’ve experienced loss,” she explains, “the raw emotions and how it changes the dynamic of your family, how it changes you.”

Unfortunately, the ingredients found in the K2 that led to David’s death may’ve been banned, but the people making it have tweaked the compounds and changed the names and synthetic marijuana can still be purchased legally in stores all over the country. That’s why Jan says police and lawmakers have to stay diligent.  “Because the people who manufacture this stuff are staying diligent. They’re determined so we need to be just as determined. We need to jump on it and not wait.  Do something. Now.” 

You can find Jan’s book “Raw Survival,” anywhere books are sold.