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Last Updated: 02/23/2018

 Article of Interest - Children At-Risk

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Police to offer drug test kits to parents
by Kara Richardson, Lansing State Journal, June 11, 2003
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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 Against Drugs.
"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 the test.
Doherty-Wright ordered 200 of the tests and can get more on a day's notice.
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 problem."
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 school.
"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.

Drug kits: 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.


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