A bunch of teens threw a crazy rager at a house in Garden Grove last weekend.
In addition to meth, coke and heroin, all the new stuff was there: Wax. Stash cans. Edibles.
If you don’t know what these are, you might want to show up next time. Just look for posts on social media for The Reality Party. In a nutshell: Teens act out what a house party is like these days, and parents pass through the rooms, like flies on the walls, to watch.
“Parents are really blown out of the water,” says Stephan Lambert, a project coordinator with the non-profit Community Service Programs Inc. “Their eyes get really wide.”
CSP is just one of The Reality Party hosts. The event is a partnership between schools, social service agencies, non-profits, parent volunteers and law enforcement. The Garden Grove Police Department brought actual drugs they confiscated from busts to the party last weekend so that parents know what to look out for.
The non-profit Casa Youth Shelter is hosting another Reality Party April 23 in Rossmoor, a neighborhood for Los Alamitos High School kids.
About 100 parents showed up at the Garden Grove “party,” making their way through the house about 20 at a time. Volunteer “tour guides” translated what was happening in English, Spanish, Korean and Vietnamese.
The teens’ dialogue comes from a script that was created by Straight Up Ventura, an anti-drug and alcohol youth program, which threw the first Reality Party. The script needs edits every year, however, since new drugs keep arriving on the scene.
One of the big drugs right now is wax, a highly concentrated hashish the kids make with butane and then smoke in a vaping pipe.
In the category of new paraphernalia are Stash Cans, which look like water bottles or energy drink bottles.
“You get them at a flea market or on Amazon,” Lambert says. “They have false bottoms. You can unscrew them, hide stuff in them, quote unquote valuables. People are hiding their drugs in them.”
The 15 teens at the party were volunteers from the Magnolia Park Family Resource Center and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Garden Grove. A parent volunteer donated her house.
In the first “scene,” teens are sitting in the living room talking about how they trick their parents.
In the kitchen, other teens are doing shots (of water), playing drinking games and talking about how they scam alcohol from older friends and relatives and people outside liquor stores. They talk about stealing prescription drugs from their family medicine cabinets. And they talk about edibles, the new potent marijuana candy and cookies.
In a later scene, teens draw on the faces of other “passed out” partiers and post them on social media. Then the cops show up and the parents hosting the party are fined $1,000 while there are reports that someone just crashed their car trying to drive away.
The final scene is in the bedroom. The teens hold candles and talk about the regretful decisions they made under the influence.
A debriefing session is held post party with counselors and police, who lead group discussions so parents can ask questions about what they just saw. Garden Grove Police Chief Todd Elgin was there. So was former state senator and former Orange County Board of Supervisor Lou Correa, who is running for Congress (and is also on the board of directors for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Garden Grove).
This was Garden Grove Police Sgt. John Reynolds’ fourth Reality Party and he says the parents who pass through always learn something new.
“A lot of them are completely shocked,” Lambert says. “Especially (about) the new drug trends. It’s a very intense thing.”
If you missed the party, you are invited to a workshop (which will also be held in English, Spanish, Korean and Vietnamese) at 11 a.m. April 30 at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Garden Grove at 10540 Chapman Ave.