CHESTERTOWN, MARYLAND (WUSA)--9 Wants You To Know about a unique program for troubled teenagers designed to help get their lives back on track. It's called RESET and it uses some unconventional strategies. (For more info, please go tohttp://terryober.weebly.com/reset-program.html)
9 News Now tagged along with a group of teenagers visiting the Chester River Hospital Center on the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
Asks emergency room nurse Patty Williams, "Anybody know the effects of cocaine are on your heart?"
The teenagers look shell-shocked.
"It enlarges it," she says plainly. "It makes it hard."
On an ordinary Friday night, teenagers are spending part of it in a morgue.
"It can be a cause of an early death," she says.
This is no ordinary program. More on the morgue in a moment, but first a visit to the Chester River Hospital Center's operating room.
"I guess we're here to scare you. Don't drink and drive. Don't do drugs and drive," says Dr. Paul Johnson, a trauma surgeon.
The teenagers are in scrubs, but nothing can prepare them for the night ahead.
"If you overdose on drugs, you're going to get one of these in the emergency room. Awake," says one of the nurses, holding up a lengthy tube. "In the stomach and then they're going to pump you out with charcoal to get rid of the badness."
If that didn't make an impression, this did-a sample of liquid charcoal. It's used to help absorb potentially damaging toxins in patients who overdose on drugs or alcohol.
The pained expressions on the children's faces say it all. One boy chugs it down in one gulp and then gags.
"This is the only time I want you to see the inside of an OR, the inside of a trauma room, okay?" asks Dr. Johnson.
A nurse gestures to the mannequin on the operating room table and tells the teens, "This is your brother, your cousin.Guess what? He died right here."
Adds Dr. Johnson, "It's about this time of year, too. Prom time and graduation time."
The operating room visit was just a glimpse of things to come.
The nurse holds up another piece of medical equipment and questions the wide-eyed teens. "Nobody knows what this is? Yup. Balloon goes up. That's that balloon I was telling you about, remember? We don't want it to fall out. So if you pull it, who thinks it will hurt? Guy or girl?"
The next stop, a crash course in backboards and neck braces. And other medical equipment the teens never want to experience.
The nurse adds, "If you overdose on pills, pill fragments are not going to come out this, so we use what's calledtummy vac."
The final stop of the night: a morgue.The teens get a rare look at an autopsy tableand a chance to handle organs that are stored here for educational purposes.
"There are hearts. There's a lung. There's a liver," says Nurse Williams. "A brain."
One girlstouches the brain through gloved hands and screams, "Eeewww!"
And perhaps the most sobering visual of all is a body bag. It comes with three tags. One for the toe. One for the bag. And another for the dead person's belongings.
Written by Andrea McCarren
9 NEWS NOW & WUSA9.COM