Police Handing-Out Free Drug Testing Kits

Posted Aug 25, 2007 by Debra Myers
In a bold move by the Horsehead's Police Department, 50 drug testing kits are being given away free to any parents who wish to test their teens for drugs. These kits are similar to pregnancy tests and are paid for with seized drug money.
Horseheads, NY -- In today's world, it's hard to decipher your teen's moods and actions, and even harder still to know if your teenager is doing drugs. In a move to help parents out, the Horsehead's Village Police Department in conjunction with a program called: Law Enforcement Against Drugs, or LEAD, will be distributing drug testing kits for free to parents who would like to test their teens.
Starting September 1, 2007, the police department will offer these free urine tests to parents. The tests can detect such drugs as: "...cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana and opiates, such as morphine or heroin," said Chief Michael J. Barton. Depending on the drug, the results are back within 3 to 5 minutes, and will detect anything used in the previous 6-week period.
According to the LEAD website, the tests come in foil pouches much like pregnancy tests.
The directions for use are simple. "If a line shows up next to a designated drug, the result is negative. The absence of a line indicates a positive result," says the LEAD website.
This has caused some mixed feelings amongst residents of Horseheads. One mother, Barbara Kramer, said she thought these tests were a good idea, however she hoped that they would not be abused by parents. "I would hate to see parents use this and go crazy, testing their children every week. I think anything has to be used with caution, and I believe you have to use common sense."
Seventeen year old Kristen Cook thinks that this will cause problems between parents and their children. Her response was, "I think drugs are an issue everywhere. As a teenager, (the test) may cause more of a problem between parents and kids because it says to kids they aren't trustworthy. (The test) may cause teenagers to rebel even more. In theory, it sounds like a good idea, but I don't think it would work out very well. I would be angry as a teenager, and I might not be happy with my parents, but I would think it would be better to be tested at home than to go someplace and risk being seen by others."
Village police have high hopes that this program will work. "We're the first agency in New York to participate in the program," said Chief Barton. "We don't take down any information when someone requests a kit. It's strictly anonymous, to be done in the privacy of their own homes. We're hoping this will curb drug use among teens. It might make a kid think twice knowing his or her parents will use the test."
I can see both sides of this...and I honestly think that it will depend upon the kind of relationship between each set of parents and their teen(s). What do you think?