Very soon, thousands of Valley parents and students will begin heading back to school. With each new school year and as children get older, they are faced with many challenges but nothing more serious than the peer pressure to use drugs. Often times, a simple "no" isn't enough to deflect peer pressure. notMYkid, a national nonprofit organization, is launching a back-to-school substance abuse prevention campaign aimed at encouraging parents to drug test their children.
The campaign begins in the Phoenix area July 29 and will span 15 cities across the United States, giving away more than 2,500 free home drug test kits. Long time partner, First Check Diagnostics, has generously donated all of the kits for this year's campaign. Each kit is valued at $40 and comes with substance abuse prevention strategies and a family drug prevention plan.
"Most parents are unaware that the average age for first-time drug experimentation is 13," said notMYkid CEO Aimee Runyon. "When a child starts using drugs, it is typically two years before parents realize there is a problem. Our hope is that parents start the dialogue early and keep the lines of communication open with their children."
Parents may visit any of these locations on dates between July 29 and August 4 to pick up their free drug test kit-
July 29 - 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at HonorHealth Scottsdale Osborn Medical Center, located at 7301 E. 4th St., Scottsdale (Military Training Center, Room 4)
July 30 - from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at HonorHealth John C. Lincoln Medical Center, located at 9202 N. 2nd Street Phoenix (Cowden Center, Barb's Conference Room)
Aug. 2 - from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Flip Dunk Sports, located at 1515 E. Bethany Home Rd., Phoenix
Aug. 3 - from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at San Tan Valley Substance Abuse Coalition, located at Native New Yorker, 1750 E. Hunt Highway, San Tan Valley
Aug. 4 - from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. notMYkid corporate offices, located at 5230 E. Shea Blvd., Suite 100, Scottsdale
"First Check Diagnostics has been a proud national sponsor of notMYkid for 11 years," said Pamela Ricci, associate marketing manager of First Check. "So many parents think their kids will never try drugs, but statistics show otherwise. Our home test kits are a proven deterrent and easy way for parents to start the conversation with their kids. We hope the back-to-school campaign discourages kids from trying illegal drugs."
When parents choose to drug test their kids it accomplishes several important goals:
• Opens a dialogue between parents and kids to discuss the risks of drug use
• Helps kids avoid peer pressure situations by empowering them to say ‘No, I can't, my parents drug test me."
• Alerts the parent if a child has recently used drugs so they can decide how to respond
notMYkid is coordinating local events and distribution efforts with local public safety agencies, schools and other organizations in more than a dozen communities across the U.S.. For a list of cities, partners and local events visit www.notMYkid.org/backtoschool
About First Check
First Check Diagnostics, LLC, based in Waltham, MA, is committed to being the leader in high-quality home diagnostic test kits assisting people to live safer, healthier lives. We strive to provide you with new and innovative products to give you the answers you need in the privacy of your own home. We offer a full portfolio of drug testing products ranging from a marijuana home drug test to test for prescription drug use. www.firstcheckfamily.com .
Founded in 2000 by a Valley family to share their experience with teen addiction, notMYkid is a Scottsdale-based nonprofit dedicated to inspiring positive life choices by educating individuals and communities about the consequences of destructive youth behaviors such as substance abuse, body image, unhealthy relationships, bullying, depression, and internet safety. In an effort to promote prevention messages, notMYkid increases awareness of the challenges kids face, provides information and offers resources to support the success of students, families, and educators. www.notMYkid.org .