Kids are smart – and if you’re a parent, that means you need to educate yourself more than ever, especially when it comes to making sure they aren’t abusing drugs or alcohol.
That’s the goal of Addiction is Real Denver, which is inspired by a program with the same name based out of St. Louis. It uses a mock bedroom exhibit to teach parents about how kids are hiding drugs in plain sight – and what to look for to make sure they can have an important conversation with their child.
This bedroom will be on display Thursday night at Douglas County High School.
Now at this point, you might be saying to yourself: “thanks for teaching kids how to hide their drugs, 9NEWS.”
We asked Allison Strawn, a school nurse consultant for the Douglas County School District, why an exhibit like this doesn’t do that at all.
Foremost, if kids are using drugs, they already know how to hide them, and there are plenty of other resources on the internet that will tell them how to do just that. So, this exhibit (and this story) is meant for parents to level the playing field, to help ensure they have the same knowledge as their kids.
“A lot of the stuff that we have here is stuff that parents have already found in kids’ rooms, that kids have stated they have used and done in their rooms, that our administration has seen in backpacks and clothing, or student resource officers have told us about,” she said.
Strawn says she hopes the mock bedroom opens up parents’ eyes to what to look for, about how the most inauspicious things could signal a cause for concern, especially if their child is starting to get more withdrawn or struggling in school.
Parents can find additional resources at a Douglas County Substance Use Resource Fair Thursday night at 6 p.m. at Douglas County High School. Admission is free and the Castle Rock Police Department will also be holding a Drug Take Back Event.
These sliders are a look at the exhibit and what’s hidden inside. Move the arrow to see where, exactly, some of the drugs are hidden -- and scroll down for an explanation.
Can’t see it? Click here: http://bit.ly/2xyDaIS
This one might be in obvious, but Strawn says to make sure that if you have concerns, to check your kids' trash can to see exactly what's inside.
Underneath the carpet
Inside the pillow
Inside the Xbox controller
Those look like normal batteries, but if you unscrew the top, they're actually containers that could contain pills.
Can’t see it? Click here: http://bit.ly/2xZSKcK
Inside the alarm clock
If you lift the battery cover on the alarm clock, you'll find a stash inside.
Drug use in plain sight
Teens are mixing Skittles, soda and cough syrup to make "Sizzurp."
Inside of the drawers
ClothesCan’t see it? Click here: http://bit.ly/2h30N1OInside the hat
Inside of the pockets
Sewn into a sweatshirt
In plain sightEvidence of drug use is written on this tank top.
DresserCan’t see it? Click here: http://bit.ly/2h30N1OInside the shaving creamOpen up this can of shaving cream and you'll find evidence of drug use inside.
Inside a hair brush, contacts caseIf you unscrew the top of the hair brush and open up the contacts case, you'll find a space to stash drugs.
Inside the batteriesThese batteries also unscrew to reveal a secret compartment.
Inside the bra (no, really)
Common items could mean something elseStrawn says the shoelaces could be used as tourniquets and tea light candles are associated with heroin use.
DeskCan’t see it? Click here: http://bit.ly/2wXI2XrA power strip that's not a power stripThis power strip is not a power strip, but rather has a secret compartment. It's not actually plugged into anything.
This container isn't a containerIt's actually a grinder
The teddy bearThis teddy bear has more than just fluff inside.
The Pringles canUnscrew the bottom of this Pringles can and you'll find a place to put drugs.
The mouse This mouse also doubles as a scale.
Behind the bear
TV StandCan’t see it? Click here: http://bit.ly/2wXI2XrThe Glade bottle Unscrew the bottom and you'll find a secret compartment.
More than a fidget spinnerThis could also double as a bottle opener
Not just a candle
Inside the books
Behind the books
Inside the Sharpie
The top of the Xbox
ResourcesThe University of Colorado has the following list of resources about talking to your teen about drugs and alcohol: http://bit.ly/2eVGSB4Rise Above Colorado: http://bit.ly/2x256DvA list of Colorado drug and alcohol teen programs: http://bit.ly/2wXRKclTips on talking to your teens about drugs and alcohol from Denver Health: http://bit.ly/2jp9Kqy