March 17, 2022
By: Dwayne Page
The DeKalb Prevention Coalition will host the Tennessee National Guard Drug Enforcement Task Force trailer Stashed Away in the parking lot of the DeKalb County compound on Tuesday, March 29.
The trailer is a mobile display designed to simulate a “typical” teenager’s bedroom, complete with all the paraphernalia and imagery one would expect to see but not necessarily understand from today’s youth culture. today. In the room, attendees will learn the meaning of signs, symbols and clothing, common hiding places and other precursors that can be guidance for otherwise unsuspecting parents. The goal is to give adults the knowledge and tools to have an impact when talking to young people and to deter them from using and abusing substances.
“Everyday parents and guardians easily miss the signs of substance abuse in young people. The Stashed Away Trailer is an addiction awareness event for parents. The trailer replicates a teenager’s bedroom and potential elements that can be indicators of experimentation with drugs and alcohol,” said Jennifer Matthews, director of the DeKalb Prevention Coalition.
Before watching the trailer, participants are invited to attend a meeting to learn more about spotting the signs of substance abuse in young people.
“Officers will have a presentation on current youth trends. DPC will also provide an update on the prevention efforts we have for the month of March,” Matthews said.
Young people today have more opportunities with less education about the dangers of illegal substances. New substances become more easily accessible to a wider market. Often the substances are disguised as everyday objects to secretly conceal them inside a simple soda can or a hairbrush. Parents and teachers who are uninformed about what things mean to a user can be the difference between a child/adolescent progressing through the cycle of substance use and abuse. This program will educate parents and teachers of youth (primarily tweens and at-risk teens) on the warning signs to identify potentially dangerous behaviors and lifestyle choices as well as how to intervene for a more positive outcome. on behalf of these young targets before their life choices become final decisions. Drugs, violence and crime do not discriminate against gender, skin color, religion or affiliation. Anyone can be a victim, and everyone is responsible for educating the next generation. At the end of the experience, participants will receive valuable resources such as: contact information for local prevention coalitions, addiction counselors, specific information brochures, and much more. This will allow parents and teachers to continue to fight on behalf of their young people with insights gained from experience.
The meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 29 at noon with a complimentary lunch provided in the UT Extension training room at the Community Complex. Enter the building through the double doors of the UT extension. The first room on the right is the training room. Training is free and lunch is free. The stowed trailer will be in the large parking lot of the community complex until 2 p.m. that day.
If you are interested in attending the meeting, you can email the coalition at [email protected] or send a facebook message so they can have an estimate for lunch.