Safe in Northern Michigan Drug Awareness Trailer Goes Virtual
Drug awareness programs say it’s important for parents to know where kids might be hiding illegal substances.
SAFE in Northern Michigan would normally tow around its 20-foot-trailer-turned-teen-bedroom to events in Antrim, Charlevoix, and Emmet counties to show parents places teens could hide illegal substances in their rooms.
“The idea of the teen bedroom is that they can walk through the trailer or learn the drug trends, what’s changed since their time in high school, and what’s available now,” said Project Director Susan Pulaski.
COVID-19 has changed SAFE’s plans this year.
Instead of hosting or attending events, the organization posted an interactive video of the inside of the trailer.
“We are moving toward a virtual tour of the trailer,” said Project Coordinator Nichole Flickema. “In addition to that, we’re hoping to host some virtual events that include the virtual tour of the trailer.”
In the video, parents can see a detailed tour of where teens may hide items like drugs or alcohol.
“We just like to show them part by part,” said Michigan State Police Trooper Corey Hebner. “A lot of parents don’t identify prescription pill bottles. If your kid isn’t on a prescription, if the label has been taken off or ripped.”
Vapes are also a concern for parents of teens since they can be so easily hidden.
“[The Juul] looks like a thumb drive and it plugs right into the computer to charge,” Hebner said. “A lot of parents missed these when they first came out about 3, 3-and-a-half years ago.”
Even though they won’t be holding in person programs, SAFE in Northern Michigan hopes this resource will still be helpful to parents.
“It’s only about a 14 minute video but it really does a nice job of giving really good examples of what the different paraphernalia looks like,” Pulaski said. “It gives parents signs of what to look for if their child is struggling.”