Even seemingly innocent parties can take a dangerous turn, and parents are often unaware of the risk. Two groups are staging "party houses" this weekend to illustrate for parents the situations teens may find themselves in at unsupervised parties.
Prevention specialist Mary Boettcher, working with Lyon and Storey county youth leadership groups of Stand Tall, is organizing a "party house" on Friday to educate parents and other community members.
Stand Tall leaders will stage a dramatization of events that could occur. Adults are invited to take 15-minute tours between
5 and 8 p.m. where a guide will explain what they're seeing.
Students will act out simulated dangerous situations that can occur during unsupervised youth parties, including misuse of prescription drugs, cough medicine, inhalants, alcohol, and illegal drugs such as heroin.
Carson River Estates donated the use of a model home in Dayton. Representatives from the sheriff's department, drug and alcohol prevention and treatment professionals, teen leaders, and adults in recovery will talk to those who have taken the tour and offer suggestions for community solutions to these issues.
Boettcher came up with the idea last year after reading about a similar project used to train law enforcement officials.
"It educates the public as to what can happen at a party," she said. "This can help the children stay safe."
The groups staged and filmed a party house last spring in Silver Springs, and it was so successful that prevention groups in Douglas County replicated it during the summer.
Each area of Lyon and Storey counties has its own Stand Tall youth alcohol, tobacco and other drug use prevention team. Young people schedule monthly meetings, prevention campaigns, and events.
Carson City members of the Partnership Carson City's Stand Tall Don't Fall youth group along with the Carson City Sheriff's Office are holding their own Party House in Carson City on Saturday night, said youth group leader Molly Taylor.
Taylor said parents are invited to visit the home on Carmine Street between
5 and 10 p.m. and witness various scenarios from beer games to mock date rape, to drug overdoses and drink spiking, that teens might encounter at a house party. About 30 teens will participate in the event.
In addition to the play acting, Taylor said there will be information available on community resources and the Sheriff's Office will be on hand with a DUI simulator and goggles that mimic a drinker's vision after cocktails.
WHAT: Lyon County Party House
WHEN: 5-8 p.m. Friday
WHERE: Carson River Estates " go right on Dayton Valley Road, left on Quilici, then follow the signs to the estates. The party house will be clearly marked.
CALL: 246-7550 for more information
What: Carson City Party House
When: 5-10 p.m. Saturday
Where: 1603 Camille Drive
Who: Parents or guardians of children ages 10 to 18. Anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult or guardian. The event is not recommended for children under the age of 12.