HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT West Springfield CARE Coalition
Holyoke Mall — February 8-28 Lower Level / Sears Court
Understanding Youth Substance Abuse
The Bedroom This mock teenager’s bedroom is designed to raise awareness about the possibility of substance abuse behaviors, particularly among youth. This bedroom contains indicators, “hidden in plain sight,” that the teen might be abusing substances. Please take a flyer and read about the indicators of substance abuse.
Substance abuse and problematic patterns of substance use among youth can lead to problems at school, cause or aggravate physical and related issues, promote poor peer relationships, and cause and place stress on the family. Youth can also develop lifelong issues such as substance dependence, chronic health problems, and social and financial challenges. It is important to understand that youth are not alone in their substance abuse, but are a higher risk group due to their age and
Understanding the Signs
development. For more information please visit youth.gov.
Heroin Tinfoil and Spoons – In combination, these can be used to “cook” heroin, preparing it for injection Balloons and Plastic Bags (ripped) – Commonly used to transport heroin when in powder form Q-tips/ Cotton balls – Often used as “filter” for the heroin before injection Belt- May be used as a tourniquet, restricting blood flow during injection
Opioid-Based Prescription Drugs Broken pens – The empty shaft of the pen can be used as a tool to snort crushed up pills Energy Drinks – Mixed with opioid pills, energy drinks can mask the taste and be used as an “upper” Cups with hard candies - Sweet candies mixed in with drinks can mask the taste of opioid-based pills
Methods to Conceal Substances Dryer sheets – Can be used to mask the smell of many substances, commonly stored with the substance Hand sanitizer/ body spray – Can be used to mask the smell of drugs on one’s person Tennis balls/ books/ aerosol cans/ etc. - Can be used to conceal or store substances
A Note to Parents/ Guardians It is important to understand that most of these items are commonly found in a teenager’s bedroom, and coming across these items does not necessarily mean the youth is abusing drugs. The first step is to observe changes in behavior that deviate from the norm, this could translate into a more energetic person or becoming more withdrawn. If you suspect your child is abusing drugs, look for these signs but also start conversations about substance abuse. The first step is always talking to the youth letting them know the harmful effects of substance abuse.
Providing education, prevention and intervention efforts to address and reduce underage alcohol and substance abuse. Twitter/Facebook: 01089cares