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Gov. Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg, along with state and local law enforcement officials, unveiled one of the state’s newest tools for combatting drugs and addiction among Iowa youth Monday at Camp Dodge in Johnston.

The Iowa Narcotics Officers Association (INOA) created the What You Don’t See project and trailer to help parents identify the early warning signs of substance abuse and prevent the destruction of lives by opioids, heroin and other drugs.

The What You Don’t See project and trailer was developed after the INOA studied individuals who had been arrested for drug-related offenses or who had overdosed on drugs. Officers at the association want to increase awareness among parents and caregivers or anyone over the age of 18 of the warning signs tied to drugs and addiction.

Adults who walk through the What You Don’t See trailer can get hands-on education and visit with professionals who investigate drug-related crimes in Iowa. They will also learn more about the warning signs and be able to identify potential risks in their own homes. Officers will share advice on when to get in touch with local authorities.

According to the Governor’s Office of Drug Control Policy, trends for young Iowans using alcohol and tobacco are higher than other drugs, but increasing numbers of youth are gaining easy access to prescription drugs found in their own home. The majority of opioid abuse starts with stolen prescriptions from a medicine cabinet at home.

“It’s critical that Iowans keep a close eye on their prescription medications,” Gov. Reynolds said. “Be sure to keep them locked away and properly dispose of unneeded pills. Protecting Iowa’s children is one of my top priorities, and this trailer is one more way to help parents and caregivers keep our youth away from drugs.”

“We’re hopeful that providing education and outreach through the What You Don’t See trailer will uncover and expose the latest dangers trending among our youth,” Lt. Gov. Gregg said. “The goal is to catch the problem early and potentially save a life.”

Click here to find out when the What You Don’t See trailer will be in your community.