By Reader Staff
Teenagers today face increasingly dangerous situations at parties, no matter where they live. Bonner County is not exception. In an effort to increase parental awareness and to initiate dialogues with their kids about the dangers of the current party scene, 7B Drug Free will present a Reality Party for Parents on Wednesday, April 26.
Parents will get two chances to tour a home set up as a teen drinking party, with youth actors portraying common party activities. The first session is at 5:45 p.m. and the second at 6:45 p.m. A question and answer session will immediately follow each session. This year’s Reality Party will take place at the Talus Rock Retreat at 291 Syringa Heights Road in Sandpoint.
From happenings derived from real parties, actual high school students will depict scenes all too familiar to both local law enforcement and hospital officials. Bragging about fake IDs, stealing alcohol from parents and boasting about the stimulating effects of energy drinks might not seem like cause for alarm, but by the end of the pretend party, teens posed as passed out as well as puking in wastebaskets, alcohol overdoses, drug use, random hook-ups and acts of sexual assault, all demonstrate the dangers of today’s teen world.
“We want parents to be informed and talk with their teenagers about the real risks involved in participating in parties where drugs and alcohol are available.” says Tammy Palaniuk, Bonner County Youth Court Coordinator and 7B Drug Free coalition member.
“The 7B Drug Free coalition started the Reality Party in 2015 as a way to educate parents on the current realities of teen parties,” said 7B Drug Free Executive Director, Erika McCall. “Parties have changed over the past decade and things like social media, expanded access to street drugs and lower perceptions of risk have contributed to a spike in violence, overdoses and other consequences during parties. This ‘mock party’ is designed to bring awareness and open the dialogue between parents and teens about risky behaviors.”
7B Drug Free is a local nonprofit organization partnering with law enforcement, educators, the medical community and Bonner General Health. Contact Executive Director, Erika McCall at (208) 699-0919 for more information.