Police to offer drug test kits
by Kara Richardson, Lansing State Journal, June 11, 2003
For more articles like this
Lansing police will provide mid-Michigan parents with drug tests
they can give to their children.
Sgt. Linda Doherty-Wright will provide the kits through a
statewide early intervention program called Law Enforcement
"Nobody wants to think that their kid is using (drugs) but
there's so much more peer pressure out there and drugs are more
readily accessible nowadays," Doherty-Wright said.
"Kids just make some bad choices sometimes."
The urine tests can screen for drugs including cocaine,
marijuana, Ecstasy, methamphetamine, morphine and PCP.
There is a separate test for alcohol.
The tests, which provide readings within minutes, are free for
the next 30 days. After that, they are $3 or $12, depending on
Doherty-Wright ordered 200 of the tests and can get more on a
She said it can cost as much as $100 to take a child to the
doctor's office for a test.
Each kit comes with a brochure describing common traits and
symptoms of drug and alcohol abuse.
Doherty-Wright also provides a list of local agencies that
handle juvenile substance abuse issues. LEAD created a hotline
to help parents interpret the tests.
The tests aren't an enforcement tool, Doherty-Wright said.
"We're not trying to bust kids for drugs, we're just trying to
get them the help they need," she said.
"It gives them a starting point once they discover there's a
Kids abusing drugs often start getting bad grades, stop going to
school and eventually have behavioral problems that include
getting into crime, Doherty-Wright said.
Dave Prichard, creator of LEAD, said more than 50 percent of
children have used an illegal drug by the time they leave high
"The greatest challenge, experts believe, is helping parents
understand that they have a tremendous influence on their
children's decisions related to drug abuse," Prichard said.
Kits are available from
8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the department, 120 W. Michigan Ave.
The tests are free for the next 30 days. After that, they are $3
or $12, depending on the test. The tests can screen for
cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine, morphine, Ecstasy and PCP.