Parents Get Dose Of Reality During Drug Forum In South Jersey

SWEDESBORO, N.J. (CBS) – A special drug “reality forum” for parents Thursday night at Kingsway Regional High School in Gloucester County revealed some big secrets when it comes to drug concealing and use.

Michele Perez helped organize the “Hidden In Plain Sight” demonstration.

“It’s a live exhibit of a teen bedroom and parents walk through the entire bedroom on stage,” she explains.

Some parents are then chosen to tear the room apart in search of drugs.

“And when we’re all done we go over everything and show them what they missed,” says Perez, “and they’re just blown away. They’re like ‘wow, I can’t believe it’!”

But Perez says this event is about more than just locating the substances:

“This will actually give them an idea as to what to look for, signs and symptoms, physical aspects about what their child may be going through.”

Among the hundreds of parents on hand was Gina Allen, mother of a 15-year-old and an 11-year old.

“I wanted to see if there was anything I wasn’t aware of,” she tells KYW Newsradio.

So what caught her off guard?

“The hidden places….underneath the dresser and stuff like that you don’t normally think of.”

Dozens of drugs were hidden within the demo room, including inside common objects like clocks for example.

“They could purchase items that are every day use, but they’re using them for something to hide from you,” adds Allan. “If you find one bag keep looking, because they separate them sometimes.”

Sergeant Danielle LoRusso with the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office ran the demonstration.

One of the bigger lessons of the night: never just assume your child isn’t doing drugs.

Later this month, “Hidden In Plain Sight” comes to the King’s Crusade event in Marlton (5/20), Williamstown High School (5/23) and Clayton High School (5/24).

More from Andrew Kramer
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