FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas - On any given weekend night there's a good chance teenagers are out and about, perhaps at a party.
So how does a parent protect their child from drugs and alcohol? It’s out there and authorities say kids are getting better and better at hiding it.
In Fort Bend County, Precinct 3 deputies will see an uptick in arrests over the weekend.
“Especially this time of year, with the kiddos getting out and about,” said Constable Wayne Thompson with FBC Constable’s Office, Pct. 3.
Constable Thompson has been sending out social media posts as of late, trying to educate parents as to what may be happening under their noses.
“We've seen a lot of marijuana activity, prescription drug abuse and misuse and those are the things that we are going after.” said Thompson.
Often these drugs are hidden in plain sight; think markers, aerosol cans, dental floss containers.
Recently deputies busted a juvenile with several prescription pills stashed in a lip balm case.
“Parents need to know they need to be nosy,” Thompson cautioned. “They need to get into their kids rooms and check around.”
A warning to parents: do you know where to look for drugs when it comes to your kids? We're showing you potential hiding places plus tips on #KHOU11 @ 10. @waynekthompson @FBCConstable3 pic.twitter.com/olCBG53SO5— Lauren Talarico (@KHOULauren) November 18, 2017
So how do you stop this from happening in the first place? KHOU 11 mental health and wellness expert, Bill Prasad, says dialogue needs to begin at 7 or 8 years old and focus on education.
“This is a tricky conversation but it's a conversation that must take place,” explained Prasad, a licensed professional councilor.
"You don't want to start with a ‘3rd degree’, as in question after question. That will put the teenager on the defense. You might say, ‘so what are some of the things you've seen in school?’"
Prasad says an ongoing conversation over several years is key. So is establishing trust and support.
“Telling the teenager that, ‘If someone that is driving has been drinking, that it's OK to call mom or dad and we will pick you up and there will not be consequences.”
Both Prasad and Constable Thompson caution that no parent should assume their child is protected from being exposed to drugs and alcohol.
"It can be any kid from any family…rich or poor,” said Thompson. “May be a great lifestyle or it may be a rough one, but we see it across the board."
To parents who let their kids have parties where drinking or anything else is involved, that is illegal, even if it’s at your home.
Thompson warns that if there’s an accident or something goes wrong, the parents could be liable and face jail time.
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