When it comes to hiding things, children are very creative. And living in the era of online shopping, keeping secrets has never been easier.

Mike Young, executive director of the Coffee County Anti-Drug Coalition, stresses the importance of being aware of diversion items, which are used by children to hide things.

Those items have secret compartments, flasks and pipes and are disguised as objects that won’t provoke any suspicion, such as water bottles, feminine products, books, keychains, markers, bracelets, clocks, hairbrushes.

Students can use them to hide marihuana, pills, tobacco or other illegal substances, and they are easily found online.

“If you type in ‘diversion items,’ a whole list of things will come up,” Young said.

Young demonstrated how a keychain can be used.

“For example, you can open the keychain up and there is a compartment inside,” Young said.

Dasani water bottle is another example of an item with a secret container where children can hide things, he added.

Flasks, called booze tubes, are disguised as tampons.

The description of the product on Amazon is as follows:

“Easy to fill and easy to pour; looks just like the real thing; comes with 5 booze tubes and 5 reusable wrappers; a shot on the spot; no one messes with your tampon; fits in your purse.”

Students can easily use that product to bring alcohol to school.

“You can put liquor in there,” Young said. “A lot of kids have used clear liquors, like vodka, and mix it with energy drinks, and they can bring it to school that way. And there are markers with a pipe hidden in them kids use to smoke marijuana.” 

He pointed to a diversion clock.

“This clock has a compartment you can hide things,” he said. “This bracelet is actually a pipe.”

When those items are purchased online, no one checks identification documents.

 “If you go to a local shop, you have to be 21 to purchase such products,” Young said.

These items, though, are available online.

“There is no ID check, and you can get all of these materials online with a prepaid visa card,” Young said.

Young stressed the importance of talking with children.

“The main thing is not to catch a kid with one of those items, but to start a conversation with you kid,” Young said. “The best way for prevention is not saying ‘don’t do it,’ but it’s having a conversation with kids about substance abuse.

“Let them know you love them and you want to talk with them about that. Also, a lot of times we think ‘not my kid,’ so we don’t do anything. It may not be your kid, but it may be your kid’s friend, and it will help you have a conversation. Have a good open conversation with children about these substances.”

Young addressed the issue today (Sept. 19) at the meeting of the Coffee County Anti-Drug Coalition at the Coffee County Board of Education building in Manchester.