CHAGRIN FALLS, Ohio — Teenagers are finding new ways to hide drug use in plain sight.
To help families and educators stay proactive, CASA for KIDS of Geauga County and the Geauga County Juvenile Court Community Outreach Program brought ‘Operation: Street Smart’ to Kenston City Schools in Chagrin Falls Township Tuesday night.
"The person that's dying right now on heroin didn’t just start with heroin,” says Retired Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant, Michael N. Powell.
“That history started sometime back.”
Powell now works as a prevention specialist with Ohio Intensity Drug Trafficking Area, traveling the country, educating anyone with access to children.
He teaches drug use trends, packaging, concealment and terminology.
“You pick up a phrase, a term that gets your attention that just doesn’t seem to make sense, expand the picture,” he says.
Parent Jennifer Hyps attended the presentation to be proactive when it comes to her 5th grade twin boys. She says times are different now.
“Not that it wasn’t dangerous back then, but things are being recreated and created in such a way that it’s out of control,” she says.
“If we don’t get a handle on it ahead of time or be knowledgeable about it all the time, we’re kind of a little bit too late.”
Powell says if there was one piece of vital information for parents, it’s to know your child’s best friend and the best friend’s family.
“So many [families] will say I saw a change in friends. The friends they used to like aren’t coming over anymore and the people that do come over don’t want to come in the house, they want the child going with them. Those can be big indicators,” he says.