This is a tough one.  I think people who want to get high are going to get high and there's nothing you can do about it.  You just have to hope that you can help get them over whatever the reasons are that they feel the need to escape.  It seems to me that prohibition is the root of this latest evil and lifting it is the easiest solution.

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images (this is the real stuff)

You know what the worst thing is that happens to someone when they smoke pot?  Nothing.  Now, that's coming from BOTH a positive and negative standpoint.  A lot of heavy users will do NOTHING.  Still, at the end of the day they're alive and there's hope.  With synthetic pot there's all kinds of dangers, including death.  The problem is, you CAN'T catch up with synthetic pot. They'll just keep changing the formula and some of those formulas are going to be even more dangerous than whatever one that is currently putting people in the hospitals.

It is my firm belief and experience that if you could get synthetic pot off the streets, something else would take it's place. Kids would be huffing gas or popping their moms pain pills.  The only thing you can really do is teach them how bad things can get for users and offer them a safer alternative.  I happen to think marijuana is that alternative.  At least if marijuana was available you'd have the time to get them interested in life enough that they might some day give up all bad behaviors.