Official: Kids get creative to hide drug use

Drug awareness class in Youngstown

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Drug users are finding more creative ways to hide their stash.

That was one of the messages at a special adult drug education training session on Monday. The training was presented right as kids head back to school, and school resource officers, law enforcement and children’s services workers all took part in the four-hour training.

The format was a show-and-tell of drug paraphernalia. The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office bought almost all of the items on display.

Capt. Shawn Bain showed several everyday items that are being used by teens to hide drugs of all types. He teaches Operation Street Smart, which covers the latest drug trends, street terminology and creative ways users hide drugs. It was founded in Franklin County in 2002.

“It is very informative as case workers and as parents, to go out when we are in the homes to look for those things we would not know what to look for,” Denise Altomare from Mahoning County Children’s Services said.

Bain said heroin and opiates are still the popular trend because they are cheap and easy to get. Traditional drugs like marijuana and alcohol are constantly changing, such as vaporizing alcohol.

“With powdered alcohol, called palcohol, a lot of different ways of disguising the alcohol,” Bain said.

Covering up the smell is also big. Users stuff a toilet paper roll with dryer sheets. Bain said parents should look for things out of the ordinary.

“Air fresheners, potpourri, burning incense, anything to change that odor in their room or car is major,” he said.

CSB workers said some of the information was overwhelming, but has opened their eyes to things they would have never considered.

“So it’s nice to be able to be aware of what is out there and what we should be looking for,” Kristy Gustovich of Mahoning County Children’s Services said.

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