Press and Media

First Alert 4

Lawsuit targets St. Louis County’s ban on tobacco and nicotine sales near schools, advocates ‘Shocked and disappointed’

A fight is brewing in St. Louis County over tobacco and nicotine products being sold near schools as a lawsuit was dropped against the county Wednesday. “Almost 100% of parents have made it very, very clear to their child they shouldn’t be doing this,” said Erin Johnston, Executive Director of Addiction is Real.

5 On Your Side

‘No questions asked’: Free Narcan available at St. Louis County libraries under new initiative

There’s a new partnership in St. Louis County to fight the opioid epidemic. All 20 library branches will now be a critical resource in breaking the stigma around substance abuse with the hope of saving more lives.

First Alert 4

‘There’s no greater pain’: Over 2 years after 13-year-old dies of accidental fentanyl overdose, Franklin County mom waiting for justice

While going through photos on Facebook, Tiffany Foster laughed as she remembered the good times with her only son, Zack. “He was my sweet pea, my buddy, my sidekick,” Foster said. Back in 2021, Zack was 13, a constant ball of energy and a social butterfly with a heart of gold.


Missouri non-profit helps parents spot signs of possible substance use in kids

“Hidden in Plain Sight.” That’s how one Missouri non-profit describes the warning signs of drug use in teens. Erin Johnston is the executive director of “Addiction Is Real”, a non-profit out of St. Louis. Johnston said that the purpose of their non-profit is to help parents protect their children from drugs.

The Kirkwood Call

Charity Issue: Stop the silence

Addicted to heroin and pregnant with her first child, Heidi Bartels was in labor and stuck on what she should do next. She is now a volunteer for Addiction Is Real, a non-profit organization which helps families struggling with similar situations. 

KY3 News

DEA Agents in Missouri-area seize record number of fentanyl

The Drug Enforcement Administration region including Missouri, Kansas and part of Illinois have seized a record 108 kilograms of fentanyl already this fiscal year, topping the 104 kilograms seized in 2019.

KMOV 4 News

Mom who lost son to addiction working to educate other parents

A mother who lost her son, Justin, to addiction is now working to educate other parents through her program, “Addiction is Real.”

West Magazine

Local nonprofit, new film put spotlight on drug addiction

In an age when drugs and alcohol are literally available at our fingertips, “Not my child” are the three most dangerous words a parent can utter. The hope is that no child will travel down the path to addiction, but the reality is far different.

Fox 2 News

Cycling for our Children supports youth drug education

The Drug Enforcement Administration St. Louis division says it’s seeing an increase in drug use and overdoses during the pandemic and now it’s partnering with Kiwanis of Saint Charles to host “Cycling for Our Children” to raise funds and awareness about addiction. The proceeds will go to ‘Addiction is Real’, a non-profit that teaches parents how to proactively talk to their kids about the dangers of drugs and alcohol.

FocusOn Magazine

“Hidden in Plain View,” an initiative by Addiction is Real

Over the course of the past few years, I can’t tell you how many parents have asked me, “Where should we look to see if our child is hiding drugs or using anything?” The truth is there are a plethora of places. In addition to their school locker, automobile or book bag, many signs are right in their own bedroom.

Webster-Kirkwood Times

“Hidden in Plain View” initiative helps parents spot signs of risky behavior in their teens

A Diet Coke can concealing drugs. A stapler holding prescription pills. A flask disguised as a bottle of lotion. A watch that keeps time, but is also a grinder for marijuana… These are just a few of the seemingly innocent items that can be hidden in plain view in a typical teenager’s bedroom.

Fox 2 News

Hidden in Plain View: What dangers are in your child’s room?

An anti-drug program showing parents the signs to look for if your child is experimenting with drugs and alcohol. “It’s shocking, very shocking,” says mother Karen Simms. She has a 12-year-old and she’s trying to learn the signs of danger before they start showing up in her home. This demonstration teaches parents how to do a thorough search of a child’s room.

Eyewitness News

Hidden in Plain View: Identifying the signs of drug abuse

On what first glance appeared to be an average teenager’s bedroom set up in the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office Thursday, a closer look revealed what would be any parent’s worst nightmare. 70 signs of drug abuse were littered throughout the display; some obvious, some innocuous. The goal is not to scare, but to educate, which is why the VCPO invited Addiction is Real, to show the “Hidden in Plain View” exhibit.

Eyewitness News

Interactive Exhibit Trains Parents on Teen Drug Abuse

The Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office is teaming up with Addiction is Real, Inc. (AIR) which is a non-profit out of St. Louis. The group is bringing an interactive exhibit called “Hidden in Plain View” to Evansville this Friday. AIR trains parents on how to spot signs of their teenagers possibly abusing drugs.

Amy Mangold talks with AIR Vice President Kelly Prunty and Vanderburgh County Prosecutor Nick Hermann about how the exhibit helps parents and how to prevent kids from abusing drugs.

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Hidden in Plain View on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Today in St. Louis – KSDK, 5 on Your Side

Want to learn how to spot risky behavior in teens? Start here.

If you have a teenager, you may think you would know if they are using drugs or drinking alcohol. But the fact of the matter is kids are finding new ways of hiding things, right in plain sight. That’s where Hidden in Plain View comes in to help. The initiative is an interactive display of a teenager’s bedroom containing over 70 items that could signal potential risky activity in a young person’s life. Throughout the program, parents will learn how to spot warning signs, as well as get tips for talking with kids about the dangers of alcohol and drug use.

KSDK, 5 on Your Side

With drug and alcohol abuse taking hundreds of lives in the St. Louis area every year, it’s a display every parent should see.

It’s a display that could save a life. And with drug and alcohol abuse taking hundreds of lives in the St. Louis area every year, it’s a display every parent should see. It’s called Hidden in Plain View. Organizers and visitors alike call it eye-opening.

Get News and Updates