BROOKFIELD, Ohio (WKBN) – Ohio outranks the entire country of drug use among teens, according to the latest statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services.
The department says 43 percent of Ohio teens have used marijuana at least once in their lives, compared to 40 percent across the country. Twenty-one percent had smoked a cigarette at least once in the last month, up from 18 percent in the U.S.; and 38 percent had at least one drink in the last month, below the national average of 39 percent.
Trying to reduce those numbers, Brookfield High School hosted “Hidden in Plain Sight,” a presentation demonstrating the ways in which teenagers hide drugs in their rooms.
Kathy LaMarco, director of prevention at Compass Family Services, created the presentation and showed WKBN how an empty toilet paper roll is used to mask marijuana or cigarette smoke. Teens put a dryer sheet inside the roll and then blow smoke through it, she said.
A water bottle with a secret bottom can be used as a hidden storage, and a hat with a zipper compartment on the inside is another place to hide drugs.
LaMarco said the media and peer influence is what leads teens to use drugs, and she said reducing teen drug use starts at home.
“It’s important to reverse that trend, and one of the most effective ways to do that is to educate parents so that they can start talking to their children at a young age, so that they are aware all through their teen years,” she said.
LaMarco said parents are always shocked when she shows them the extent of which children will go to hide drugs, and she hopes her presentation will alert at least one parent of drug activity and save their child.