BLAINE, Minn. – (Jan. 11, 2018) – Deciphering the world of teenagers these days can be difficult, especially when it comes to risky behaviors. This is why the Hazeldon Betty Ford Foundation developed the Top Secret Project.
“It’s a bedroom which in it is a bunch of items you might in a kid’s [or] messy teenager’s bedroom that includes things that might be related to self injurious behavior, things that might be related to eating disorders and things related to drug use things that you wouldn’t necessarily correlate with any sort of drug use or self injurious behaviors,” said Dianna Hoffman, Top Secret Project organizer.
Anoka County along with the YMCA and the Hazeldon Betty Ford Foundation put together the event at Centennial High School to help parents know what to look for.
“They’re supposed to be aware that there’s some pretty mundane household items or things that you wouldn’t necessarily think would be related to drug use,” Hoffman said. “It’s really just an eye opening experience for them to understand that there are things you might see in your son or daughters bedroom that is related, whether it’s an apple, there are just different things in the bedroom that might be a trigger for you to be concerned.”
The event is a part of a larger goal for Anoka County to reduce drug abuse and other self injurious behaviors.
“The county commissioners decided that they wanted to have a heroin task force, so we started this heroin task force which has three committees, one is a marketing, so we have some really great stats in the folders that we have about just specifically Anoka County, and then we had another group that discussed the drop boxes, where are the drop boxes throughout the community where you can drop off your prescription drugs, we also have that information in the folders, and then this also came out of it, the Top Secret Project,” she said.
Hoffman said one of the goals of the night was to be able to help parents start those tough conversations.
“First of all I think awareness is the first key, second, I think we need to really learn how to talk to our kids about things like that, the whole purpose of why we’re doing this is to give parents information and awareness, but also an idea of how do you talk to your kids, and we’re really big about, you have to be open and if you have any questions, your kids might lie to you, but to have that conversation and start that conversation and start that conversation is way more important than just ignoring it.
Hopefully, those conversations can lead to fewer secrets.
Hoffman said there will be one more event Feb. 22 in St. Francis at the Performing School of Arts.