In-Home Drug-Testing Kits Given to Families

In-home drug-testing kits capable of determining the presence of illegal substances were given to families in Val Verde on Wednesday as part of a Sheriff’s Department drug prevention initiative.

“With school starting back up, there are many challenges children face — one of them being peer pressure to use drugs,” said Shirley Miller, spokeswoman for the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

Miller said the campaign is aimed at raising drug awareness by providing local parents with resources to keep their children safe.

“We’re trying to help keep children from getting involved in things they shouldn’t after school,” Miller said of the Sheriff’s Youth Activity League, an organization aimed at providing a safe environment and a positive atmosphere for Los Angeles County’s children and teens.

Youth Activity League received 500 kits, which test for seven illicit drugs and five prescription drugs, including marijuana and heroin. The kits were distributed between seven league locations.

Offered free to families, the kits were donated to the youth program by notMYkid, a nonprofit organization reaching out to communities through its Back-to-School Substance Abuse Prevention Campaign.

The program aims to tackle drug problems in communities across the nation, including the Los Angeles area.

“It starts the conversation between parents and their children,” Jansen Ness, events manager for notMYkid, said of the program. “It givesthem a chance to say ‘no’ to peer pressure.”

Ness said the average age for first-time drug use is between 11 and 13 years old. He hopes the kits lead parents to implement drug prevention plans within their homes.

By Austin Dave
Signal Staff Writer
September 16, 2015