Growing up I remember taking part in the D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Program as a 5th grader. It taught me about the dangers of alcohol and Marijuana use as a minor.

The D.A.R.E. program lost it's funding in 1998 and has since been replaced by the keepin’ it REAL program (kiR). In keepin’ it REAL workshops, students work together and practice saying no to each other through role-playing.

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While it's great that those programs were created to teach kids about the dangers of Alcohol and Drugs and being able to say no. There really hasn't been much out there for parents to know what's going on with their kids and how to tell if their kids might's be doing drugs or hiding them at home until now.

A new program called "Hidden in Plain Sight" is helping parents learn to look for clues of where their kids could be hiding drugs.

The Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department teamed up with MSU Extension and created a mobile trailer that can go from school to school and teach parents and grandparents about where teens could be hiding drugs and what to look for.

“It’s what we need in our community and just to spread the word and hope we change one parents’ look on what might be in their child’s bedroom,” said Maggie Merchberger of MSU Extension.

Here is a video of the Hidden in Plain Sight Trailer tour with MSP Trooper Corey Hebner

According to Youth drug abuse is a high-profile public health concern, with at least 1-in-8 teenagers abusing an illicit substance in the last year.

Drug use among 8th graders increased 61% between 2016 and 2020.
By 12th grade, 62% of teenagers have abused alcohol.
50% of teenagers have misused a drug at least once.
43% of college students use illicit drugs.
86% of teens know someone who smokes, drinks, or uses drugs during the school day

Teenagers in Michigan are 6.95% more likely to have used drugs in the last month than the average American teen.
67,000 or 8.91% of 12- to 17-year-olds report using drugs in the last month.
13.43% of all 12- to 17-year-olds report using marijuana in the last year.
0.40% report using cocaine in the last year.
0.13% report using methamphetamines.
2.66% report misusing pain relievers.

I think this is a great start and hopefully school districts and police departments around the state of Michigan can work together to set up more Hidden in Plain Sight Trailers.

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