Verona-Cedar Grove Editorial: Parents should be aware of teen drug use

Have you ever wondered if your child was hiding something from you?

We’re not talking about a bad grade or even a piece of jewelry that was used without your permission. We’re specifically referring to drug and alcohol use.

It wouldn’t be surprising if the idea has popped into your mind. There’s way too much news about the increase of drug and alcohol use among teens for such a notion to never come into play. Luckily for parents, there’s an upcoming program hosted by the Verona Municipal Alliance that aims to help those who might have a problem.

Later this month, parents (and any adult who works with children) will be able to participate in a free event dubbed “Hidden in Plain Sight.” There, an actual simulation of a teenager’s bedroom will be on full display. Participants will be able to observe areas where teens might hide drugs. “Seemingly innocent items commonly used by youth could actually indicate a substance abuse problem,” a release to the Times indicated.

School counselors, law enforcement and prevention specialists will be at the event, too.

It seems like this will be a great program to check out because it’ll highlight the importance of banding together as a community to perhaps lessen the effects of drug use among teens. Visual presentations are especially helpful because seeing and touching are ways to better retain information.

One way to combat the negative trends relating to alcohol and drug abuse is to have a community-based resource available, like the municipal alliance. The CDC has even recommended it.

The Verona Municipal Alliance is strong and we hope to see even more programs like this (and the one sponsored last year dubbed “Our Children are Dying”) to continue to address problems facing our society.

While there’s no 100 percent, foolproof way to stop teens from using drugs, there are programs that can help parents understand what kids are going through and what they can do to help.

If you’re interested in learning more about the “Hidden in Plain Sight” program, which will be held March 31 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Verona Community Center, call Tina Thompson at 973-383-4787, ext. 239.