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Drugs may be found where least expected

Charmin Gabbard, right, shows Paula Maupin some of the items where drugs can be hidden by students. Gabbard showed the display, funded by the Dribble Over Drugs basketball tourney, to the Fayette County Drug Coalition Friday.

By DARRELL SMITH - dsmith@newsexaminer.com

Parents often do not know their child is using drugs because they do not see the evidence right in front of them at home.

But drugs may be hidden where adults would not think of looking in common items that most people wouldn’t suspect.

Proceeds from Dribble Over Drugs allowed Charmin Gabbard to purchase online several items that could hide drugs. She showed those items Friday to members of the Fayette County Drug Coalition.

The Beyond the Obvious display is to educate parents and educators, she said.

“Kids are attracted to paraphernalia, so this is just to continue to educate our parents and educators in what’s going on,” she said. “You just don’t know what you don’t know.”

Gabbard leads the addiction support group Brianna’s Hope-A Better Life on Tuesdays at Crosspointe Biker Church and is working at North Star Recovery at Fayette Regional Health System. She spent her younger years in and out of jail as a result of addiction.

“Now being on the other side of things, I’m even taken back by these,” she admitted. “It’s more about giving back to the community and being able to help another parent or helping a teacher and staying up with the trends.”

Gabbard demonstrated how the common-looking items in the display can hide drugs without anyone suspecting. She showed some T-shirts that had drug references she easily purchased online.

She asked that details not be publicized, even though kids who are involved likely know.

By purchasing the items, the county will not have to pay to bring speakers in from the outside to educate local parents and officials about where to find drugs, she said. The money can stay here.

Until the display is expanded and set up, parents can see a similar but larger display Oct. 9 at parent-teacher conferences at Connersville High School. That is also an in-service day where teachers can learn about some items they might see in the classroom without realizing their real purpose.

The Hidden in Plain Sight trailer will be available to adults 18 or older. The trailer will show a bedroom that could belong to a typical teenage that has many items with drug references and places to hide drugs.

Gabbard would like to set up a permanent location for the display either at CHS or Connersville Middle School so teachers and parents can view it easily. The items could be taken to a group for a program also. It would be available during parent-teacher conferences.

It can be kept up to date as new items become available, said Kay Riker Payton of Communities That Care.

“My thought is for everyone to come together and grow this so we can continue to educate one an another and know what’s out there,” Gabbard said.