Did you know October is National Substance Abuse Prevention Month and Prescription Drug Awareness Month? I want to be totally be honest, when First Check home drug testing kits showed up on my doorstep to help promote awareness, I wanted to hide them. I was not ready to have this conversation with my family. But that night, a friend of mine from home told me a story about someone we knew dying from an overdose. He said that he saw the kid’s Dad rolling around the lawn screaming “He’s gone, my son is gone,” and he couldn’t get the image out of his head. And then I couldn’t get the image out of my head. I woke up the next morning and thought ‘isn’t not talking about the issue, the real issue here?’ People aren’t getting ahead of this. People aren’t being proactive enough. How many will die because they aren’t talking about it soon enough? I decided staying quiet about the issue is not the answer. First Check* is the leader in high-quality home diagnostic test kits. It can detect in 5 minutes if your kid is using any or the 12 most commonly abused drugs – including 5 prescription drugs – with over 99% accuracy, in the privacy of your own home. So, am I going to test my 6 year old? No, but I made a promise to myself right then and there to be proactive, and not reactive, to drugs.
As soon as my kids get a bit older, I’m going to start an early and open discussion about drugs. I want my kids to understand how important this topic is – sheltering them is not an option because we can’t afford to get this wrong for our kids’ sake. We want our kids to know that we are aware, that we are not going to ignore it, and that we are here to support them in their challenge to rise above it.
Do you have older children who may be experiencing peer pressure to try drugs? Give your kids an excuse with the help of First Check. When their peers may be partaking in illegal drugs, your teenager can have an ‘out’to peer pressure by saying, “My parents do home drug testing, I’m out.” Home drug testing can be thought of as a report card that shows how successfully a kid is at saying no to drugs. But what if they think we don’t trust them? Switch that thought around. This isn’t about not trusting your kids, it’s about giving them the opportunity to show and be proud of how they are not succumbing to peer pressure. It’s about actively getting involved in your teen’s life and not just hoping for the best. It’s about practicing early, open and honest communication and establishing a checks and balances program. Look, I don’t think anyone would say that choosing to home drug test your kid is an easy, non-controversial topic. But do you know what a much harder topic is? A kid dealing with addiction or worse, dying from a drug overdose.
First Check home drug testing can be purchased in the pharmacy section at a variety of retailers including Amazon.com, Drugstore.com, Walmart, CVS, Rite Aid, Target, Kmart, Kroger, Meijer, Giant Eagle, Stop & Shop, Giant and ShopKo. Also available at independent retail pharmacies across the US ($12.99-$39.99).
*First Check supports the nonprofit organization notMYkid whose mission is to empower and educate youth, families and communities to identify and prevent negative youth behavior.