CHICAGO (CBS) — The effort to reduce the number of heroin and opioid overdose deaths in Will County has gained a new weapon: a traveling exhibit urging parents to search their children’s bedrooms.
“You’re not spying. You’re saving your child’s life,” Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow said of the effort to get parents to search kids’ rooms for drugs.
The 8-foot by 16-foot trailer “Hidden in Plain Sight” has been mocked up to look like a teenager’s bedroom, and shows dozens of places drugs could be hidden. It will be unveiled Wednesday outside the New Lenox Police Department.
Linking Efforts Against Drugs, LEAD , an organization dedicated to parents and their role in the promotion of healthy family relationships and the prevention of alcohol and drug use, created the “Hidden in Plain Sight” presentation to help educate parents.
The Heroin Epidemic Relief Organization teamed up with Glasgow and New Lenox police to purchase and outfit the trailer as a traveling educational program.
Glasgow said parents are not violating a child’s right to privacy when it’s the parent’s home in the first place.
“A lot of parents think they can’t search their own kids’ room when they own the house,” he said. “That’s a no-brainer, and we’ve got to get parents more involved, because they’re the first line of defense. They’re the one that’s going to spot their children having a problem before anyone else does.”
The state’s attorney said drugs could be hidden anywhere.
“Somebody showed me an Aquafina water bottle, and it looked like a sealed water bottle. There’s water in the top, water in the bottom, and a label in the middle. They pulled it apart, and the center was hollow. You can hide whatever you want in there,” he said.
Glasgow said a lot of parents want to be their children’s friends, and don’t want their kids to get up set with them.
“It’s tough sometimes, and your kids may get very angry with you, but they can’t get angry if they’re dead,” he said.
Officials said 96 people died of overdoses of heroin and other opioids last year in Will County.
The “Hidden In Plain Sight” trailer will travel to a summit on the heroin/opioid epidemic in Romeoville on Friday, and can be reserved for other events at the Heroin Epidemic Relief Organization (HERO) website.