Working together as a community to start conversations and focus on substance use prevention. That was the key message at a “Hidden in Plain Sight” event earlier this month.
Parents, grandparents, teachers and others concerned about substance use came to learn about what’s happening in the local community. On February 15, The Barry Robinson Center (BRC) hosted “Hidden in Plain Sight,” a conversation about substance use and addiction.
At the event, BRC announced its new intensive outpatient substance use counseling program for young adults ages 18-24. BRC also offers a program for teens.
About 75 attendees explored a typical teenage bedroom set up with drug paraphernalia “hidden in plain sight.” They discovered items disguised in diversions such as a computer mouse, stick deodorant, a marker and even a tube of lip balm.
This interactive display surprised many of the attendees, who did not know how easy it is to purchase these diversions and hide illicit drugs and alcohol.
After walking through the display, participants learned about local drug hot spots from Archie Boone with the Norfolk Prevention Council. Boone showed a map of the city where suspected narcotic overdoes occurred in 2017 and 2018. The NPC is part of the City of Norfolk Community Services Board, which collaborated with BRC to present this program.
Featured speaker Dr. Hope Sinclair addressed “The Truth About Addiction,” exploring the history and current statistics about substance use. Sinclair provided an eye-opening look at the reality of substance use today, causes and impacts of addiction, and the importance of education and early intervention.
“You need to talk to kids early,” she emphasized. “And you need to know what’s happening. You can’t help anybody if you’re not aware.”
Sinclair’s solo practice, Hope Experts, LLC, focuses on providing information to youth, parents, and community partners about the dangers of substance abuse, the long-term effects, and safe and productive alternatives.
Other community partners that participated in the event included Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, Safe Harbor, EVMS Mentally Healthy Norfolk Coalition and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
Learn more about BRC’s outpatient substance use counseling.