NEWTON, NJ— Four Twenty, 4:20, 4/20, no matter how you write it out, the joke of the day remains the same- a national day for everyone to get high.

On March 24, The Action Alliance and the Center for Prevention and Counseling sponsored a unique community event at Halsted Middle School that was open to parents and residents of the Newton School District called “Hidden in Plain Sight”.

There is no better day than a day urban dictionary calls “National Get High Day”, for parents to be aware of what their children are doing, who they are hanging out with and where they are hiding their “stash”.

Sign Up for E-News

During the event, a teen’s bedroom was replicated and put on display. It was set up for parents and those who attended the event to go through, looking to see how many hiding places they could find. One parent found over 45 hiding places.

“There are many, many locations in a bedroom where youth could hide just about anything. The point is for parents to be aware and to learn what signs, symptoms, lingo/slang and trends are drugs and drug use,” said Becky Carlson, the Executive Director at the Center of Prevention and Counseling.

Places children can hide their “stashes” included, but were not limited to the following places:

  • Books on a  bookshelf
  • Laundry basket
  • Shoes
  • Hoods in jackets
  • Sleeves in jackets
  • Behind window curtains
  • In stuffed animals with zippers
  • Retail 'trick' soda cans/shaving cream cans
  • Food containers
  • CD & DVD cases
  • Inside Sports equipment
  • Gaming consoles & games

Chief Michael Richards, other officers and a local attorney, each spoke a bit to those who attended the event, which was a little over 30 people, about what they have personally seen, when it comes to drug overdoses and juveniles being charged for possession and/or drug abuse.

“If there is a problem, having parents understand that early identification of use is critical, as it is much easier to help a teenager/young person early on versus down the road”, said Carlson.

Carlson and the rest of her team at the Center for Prevention and Counseling created this event to help parents become aware of the behaviors of their children and help them to see when they should step in and get their child some help before it is too late.

For more pictures of the event, please visit our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/TAPintoNewton