The Harlan County Sheriff’s Office has teamed up with Appalachian High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) and Operation UNITE to participate in the “Give me a Reason” drug prevention initiative.
Through the initiative, drug test kits are now available for pick-up for free to parents at the Harlan County Sheriff’s Office. Additional distribution sites will be set up throughout the county and those locations will be announced in the near future.
The drug prevention initiative is a voluntary drug testing program designed as a way for our youth to avoid peer pressure and give them a reason to say “no” to drugs. When confronted with drugs, this initiative provides youth an opportunity to say, “I can’t use drugs, my parents drug test me.” The saliva-based SalivaScan testing kits are non-invasive and are given within the privacy of your own home with results in approximately 10 minutes.
The goal of the program is to help Harlan County’s youth make positive life choices when faced with peer pressure. Drug testing is a logical and simple way to hold children accountable to family rules concerning use or misuse of drugs — illegal, prescription or over-the-counter. Studies show that the earlier a teen begins using drugs, the more likely they will develop a substance abuse problem or addiction.
According to the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) research has shown that kids who have conversations with their parents and learn a lot about the dangers of drug use are 50 percent less likely to use alcohol and drugs than those who don’t have those conversations.
The kits test for a variety of drugs including Amphetamines (Adderall, meth, and Ecstasy), buprenorphine, benzodiazepines (Xanax, Valium and Roofies), cocaine, marijuana, Methadone, methamphetamine, opiates (codeine, heroin, morphine, oxycodone and hydrocodone), Phencyclidine (PCP) and barbiturates (Tranquilizers).
If a positive test result occurs, parents/caregivers are encouraged to contact a trusted health professional to determine the next course of action to take to seek help.
A detailed list of free local resources to help is available at www.operationunite.org.
Sheriff Leslie E. (Smitty) Smith stated, “I am pleased to participate in the “Give Me A Reason” program. This is a well-designed kit that is free to the public. Many parents find it difficult to discuss these issues with their children. The kit includes an information sheet which will assist parents with how to approach the issue. It also contains information on how parents can talk to their children if they (the parents) have used drugs or alcohol in their past”
“The most important thing for parents to remember about the kit is that, unless you choose otherwise, it is a personal issue between you and your child. We the police do not expect you to report your finding to us unless you feel we can assist you in some way. The kit contains information on how to seek help if you do discover your child is using drugs or alcohol. Each kit contains a prepaid self-addressed envelope and a simple questionnaire. The only thing we ask is that you return this to Appalachia HIDTA and indicate if your test had a positive or negative result. If the test is positive we also ask that you indicate on the questionnaire which drugs were identified.”
If the Harlan County Sheriff’s Office can be of any assistance with this or any other matter, contact the office at 606-573-1313.