A unique way to combat teen drug use

(WHAM Photo)

Irondequoit, N.Y. - On Saturday, the Saint Paul Fire Department took a unique approach to combat teen drug use.

Using a simulation room, the department showed parents how to spot signs of potential drug use.

Ginny Nacy, the event organizer, lost her son to a drug overdose. Now, she's hoping to show parents what to look for in their teen's room to hopefully prevent future heartache.

“Some people have noticed and spotted things right away and some don't know exactly what a certain object is,” Nacy explained. “I always found these lying around and thought they were rubber band bags from braces, but they are not, marijuana is put in this to sell."

Nacy, along with Drug Free Irondequoit Coalition set up this room to teach parents how to spot signs their teen may be using drugs.

“Youth start using things that we as adults think, 'Well, I did that as a kid, no big deal.' The problem is, it is a big deal,” said Nacy.

She adds that parents need to learn how teens use drugs, and how they hide drug use. For example, a dryer sheet can mask the smell from smoking.

Parents like Austin Martin say this simulation is empowering.

“This is something I've never seen before honestly,” he said. “You have to be 10 steps ahead especially with what’s going on.”

“Putting two and two together would be a shock and surprise and a sadness that your kids were doing something that could be harmful,” said Lisa Yockel, a parent and member of the coalition.

This is the first year the coalition has put together this setup as part of their response to the opioid crisis.

Nacy added, “Do not dismiss this as ‘not in my house,’ because it can happen in anybody's house.”

They're planning future outreach events to help educate the community on preventing drug abuse.

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