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Can you spot the signs of substance use in this teen bedroom?

Mock bedroom setup, with typical teen materials laying around like headphones, a backpack, air freshener, and clothing.

At first, it seems like a normal teen’s bedroom setup. There is a hairbrush on the dresser. A trash can sits by the desk. A junk drawer holds office supplies and random items.

Unscrew the head from the hairbrush, and you’ll discover a place to store marijuana. At the bottom of the trash is folded up aluminum foil with what appears to be black tar heroin inside. And inside that junk drawer are several pocket-size ziplock bags that are certainly not meant to hold office supplies.

Allison Strawn, who is a School Nurse Consultant at Douglas County High School (DCHS), stashed these items, along with 80 other items for a mock teenager’s bedroom setup that showcases for parents and the community, signs of potential substance use and abuse. The mock bedroom is part of a Substance Abuse Resource Fair next Thursday, September 14, a free event open to everyone in the Douglas County community, hosted by DCHS.

“[DCHS Principal] Tony Kappas and I had the opportunity to go to St. Louis earlier this year and learn from a non-profit called Addiction is Real. We really liked their messaging and decided to extend their non-profit out to Colorado,” Strawn said. “The bedroom, called “Hidden in Plain View”, is a completely interactive tool that is hands on. It allows parents, grandparents, and others to touch the items and see how many they can find. We hope that this education may lead to a discussion with a student about unhealthy or risky choices they may be making. In plain view, there does not seem to be anything out of the ordinary but your eyes are opened when you begin to look deeper.”

Off to the side, a display provides the answer key to the over 80 warning signs hidden— or hidden in plain view — throughout the bedroom. The goal for the setup is to help parents identify these warning signs before substance use turns into addiction.

Allison and Tony wanted to dovetail onto AIR’s educational opportunities to provide the community with additional resources specific to Douglas County students and families. Also present for the Resource Fair is the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Castle Rock Police— who will also be hosting a drug take-back event (prescription and over the counter drugs only, marijuana and illegal drugs will not be accepted), the Douglas County Youth Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, the Juvenile Assessment Center, Castle Rock Adventist Hospital, the Colorado Consortium, Highlands Behavioral, CASA, Denver Springs, and All Health Network.

View the flyer for more details.

RSVP for this free event here.

September 7, 2017 | By CSilberman | Category: Prevention and School Culture, Health Wellness and Prevention, Nursing Services

District News

On February 9 the PACE Center hosted Portfolio Day for students like Sladovnik. It was an opportunity for critiques from working professional artists, and workshops. It culminates in the "Bright Futures" art exhibit - a showcase of selected work on display February 16-27.

Last month, the Board of Education passed a resolution tasking the Superintendent to convene a task force inclusive of members of the general public and staff members. This task force will develop a survey for parents of students eligible for special education services and a survey for staff members who serve students eligible for special education services.

Board members sitting at the dais

CASTLE ROCK - On February 6, the Douglas County School District (DCSD) Board of Education confirmed its commitment to begin the process of seeking approval from voters for additional local funding.

“Our children need a bond and mill levy override (MLO) to be passed in 2018, beyond any doubt,” said DCSD Board of Education President David Ray. “We want to move forward immediately with the necessary processes and collaboration with our community in order to finalize a formal funding package.”