To help both parents and teens win the battle against drug involvement, officers are kicking off a new “Test My Teen” drug prevention program designed to keep parents in touch with what is really going on with their children.
Eureka Police Chief Michael Wiegand said the program also gives teens a way to stop peer pressure when friends urge them to experiment with drugs and alcohol.
Wiegand said the program allows parents to download a voucher from the Eureka Police Department's website for one free, home drug-test kit; click here for kit. Parents only pay for shipping of the kit.
Electronic vouchers require no interaction with police, thereby providing total anonymity and the ability for families to privately address the issue. Wiegand said the kits are shipped using non-descript packaging to also preserve the family’s privacy.
Parents without Internet access can pick up a printed voucher at , located at 120 City Hall Dr.
Wiegand, said he was introduced to the new program through a letter from the Missouri Police Chiefs Charitable Foundation, and believes the program helps create a very positive, effective partnership in fighting drug use among teen. “For years, police have been the first to know, and parents the last to know when local kids used drugs” said Wiegand, in a news release.
“With this testing program, we can work with parents and turn this thing around.”
When teens’ so-called friends pressure them to experiment with drugs or alcohol, they can tell their friends, ‘No thanks. My parents test me.’ That takes the pressure off teens to defend their choice for not using substances, Wiegand stated.
He stated the new program also says to peers: ‘If I use, I’ll get caught for certain, and then I’ll have to explain where I got the drugs.’
This program also provides a way for teens, who previously were caught using drugs, to rebuild trust with their parents. "Parents can know for sure if their teen is telling the truth when they say, ‘No, I am no longer using,'" said Wiegand.
The Test My Teen website provides:
- answers to general questions
- information on what to look for
- conversation starters parents can use to talk with their teen about drugs
- references to counselors who can help families
Free kit vouchers, however, must be downloaded or picked up at Eureka Police Department, said Wiegand.