LAKEVIEW, Ohio (WYTV) – Monday night, Lakeview parents learned about the drugs most popular with kids, what they look like and how to identify a user.
“We’re in [an] epidemic here but a lot of parents don’t know the drug of choice right now,” said Capt. Tony Villanueva of the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office.
With kids, it’s not heroin or cocaine.
“Right now, the drug of choice is obviously marijuana, Molly, which is MDMA — those are big ones right now. Xanax, pills,” Villanueva said.
A handful of parents went to Lakeview High School’s auditorium to listen to the presentation.
Villanueva, who’s also the Trumbull County Drug Task Force’s commander, was the first speaker.
“A lot of people don’t even know what some of these drugs look like. We have a Powerpoint presentation basically having pictures of what some of the paraphernalia look like,” Villanueva said.
He also spoke about the ways kids can hide it, like stuffing drugs into straws and using heat to seal the ends.
They can hop onto Amazon and buy things like fake Sharpies, keys or deodorant containers that have hiding compartments.
“Kids are being exposed to so many things that we just can’t really assume at any age that it’s too young,” said Lauren Thorp.
Thorp’s oldest is just 10.
“I would like to think that at 10 years old, she’s too young to be dealing with any of this. But the reality is, is that just younger and younger we’re hearing of kids being exposed to this stuff,” she said.
Villanueva said most parents don’t really know what to look for.
“There’s different behaviors, you know? Different types of drugs do different things to people’s eyes. Really look in the pupils. Are their eyes red?” Villanueva said.
He said to look for subtle changes in behavior and sleeping patterns.
“Are they asking for more money that’s out of the ordinary? Are they selling things out of their room? Are they always tired, always sleepy? Are they easily angered?” he said.
Villanueva said he usually travels to schools throughout the year, giving around 30 to 40 of these presentations.