EAU CLAIRE, Wis. — School and police officials in northwest Wisconsin are using a mock teenage bedroom to demonstrate to parents how their children might be hiding methamphetamine and other illegal substances.
The display was used during recent parent-teacher conferences at North High School in Eau Claire, the Leader-Telegram reported. The room featured a twin bed, soda cans, writing utensils, hygiene products and stuffed animals.
The district attorney's office, Chippewa Valley School District officials, Eau Claire and Altoona police departments demonstrated ways that kids can hide their drug use, such as in a beanie or a fake canister of shaving cream. What appears to be a highlighter marker can even be a hidden pipe.
"I've never seen any of that before," said Brenden Kewin, a freshman at North High School. "I'm definitely not creative enough to do that."
The Altoona Police department purchased the display for about $500, said Jesse James, the department's police chief.
"It's really a community effort to help families find and identify the signs of drug use or let them know their kids could be involved in these dangerous activities," said Bridget Coit, a spokeswoman for Eau Claire police.
Teenagers typically use marijuana and pills, but meth is also a growing concern since Eau Claire has seen an increase in meth cases, she said.
There were 320 individuals in court for meth-related cases in 2016, compared to 342 last year. That number could rise to 450 this year, according to projections from the district attorney's office.
"If parents and guardians know what they're looking for that's the best prevention we can ask for with this population," Coit said.