Even though Indian Hills resident Deana Camillo knew her daughter was only pretending to have overdosed at Friday night’s mock teen party, it didn’t make it any easier to watch.
The Partnership of Community Resources and Students Taking On Prevention portrayed activities and scenarios that could happen when a teen party gets out of control during their annual Teen Parties Exposed program, at their office in Gardnerville.
“I have a tendency to watch my kids carefully, but I know kids their age do this. It’s a scary thought that kids can be so influenced,” Camillo said. “All it takes is one fun party, and my kids could be influenced to make bad choices. I don’t ever want to get that phone call that my daughter’s in the hospital or at the morgue.”
At the start of the tour, parents were given five minutes to investigate a typical teen bedroom and locate any items they deemed inappropriate.
Placed in plain sight were marijuana pipes disguised as highlighters and lipstick, stylish sneakers and clothing with stash pockets, and soda cans with hidden compartments.
“I learned that pipes can be disguised as bracelets. Obviously, paraphernalia can be disguised as anything,” Camillo said. “What surprised me was the flashlight that was a pipe, and in the tongue of the shoe was a stash spot.”
In the living room of the party house some teens were playing beer pong, others were smoking marijuana from a hooka, and almost everyone was under the influence.
In the bathroom, girls were taking random prescription drugs, while another girl was vomiting in the toilet. At one point, a passed out girl was carried into a bedroom by two boys and the door closed.
As the party was reaching its climax, Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputies arrived to break it up.
They lined everyone up against the wall , and asked each person how much they had drank. They then said they were going to perform Breathalyzers, and take anyone under the influence into custody.
Paramedics were called for the overdose victim, and the adults in the house were arrested.
Paramedic Chad Sheldrew said he responds to a handful of calls like this each year.
“It used to be more alcohol-related, now it’s more drug-related,” he added.
Gardnerville resident Tracy Gross said she wishes they would have had educational opportunities like this when she was raising her kids.
“It’s not only educational for the children, but for the parents,” she said. “I was shocked at the paraphernalia, and how creative they have gotten. The cans that look like Coke cans, but they’re not, the jewelry for pipes. I wish they would have had this 14 years ago.”
Dina Parra works with teenagers at Jacobsen High School at China Spring Youth Camp. She had heard students talk about different paraphernalia, but was surprised when she actually saw the items.
“It’s incredible how the stuff can be in your home and you don’t know about it,” she said. “I learned a lot about the clothing, and how parents don’t know what it means.”
Ian Camillo, 13, said watching what the teens were doing made him uncomfortable.
“I felt out of place. I didn’t really like what they were doing,” he said. “I felt relieved when the cops showed up. I would never do this stuff because I’m hoping to become a professional athlete someday. It’s very confusing why people would do this.”
Following the tour, a juvenile probation officer discussed the consequences of kids being cited for being under the influence, and answered questions.
For more information, visit www.partnership-resources.org.