Operation UNITE still offering drug test kits to parents

Staff Report

PRESTONSBURG — Operation UNITE continues to promote its latest drug deterrent initiative, called Give Me a Reason, in all Floyd County middle and high schools ,

The program establishes a way for parents to obtain, free of charge, drug testing kits that they can use with their children.

While helping parents find out if their child is taking drugs is the obvious outcome of the program, Ashley Akers with Operation UNITE says the program’s chief goal is to provide a strong preventative measure. With the kits so widely available, kids are able to combat peer pressure by explaining they cannot possibly take any drugs, because their parents are drug testing them.

Akers says that helping kids say no to drugs at middle and high school age is critical, as those who start abusing drugs early are statistically more likely to develop an addiction.

Kits are tested anonymously, with no personally identifying information involved. Operation UNITE says families who receive positive test results should contact their health care provider or any of the other resources listed at operationunite.org.

The test kit uses a cheek swab method that is much less invasive than blood tests and less susceptible to tampering than urine tests. The one kit will test for amphetamines, such as Adderall and ecstasy; benzodiazepines, including Xanax, valium and rohypnol; cocaine; marijuana; methadone; methamphetamine; opiates, such as codeine, heroin, morphine, oxycodone and hydrocodone; phencyclidine (PCP); and barbiturates.

The first kits were available in March. The kits continue to be available to parents at every Floyd County middle and high school, at the schools’ Family Resource Centers.

For more information, contact Floyd County UNITE representative Ashley Akers-Shepherd at (606) 889-0422 or e-mail her at aakers@centertech.com.

Staff Report

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