Local News

Sampson County Offering Free Teen Drug-Testing Kits for Parents

Posted February 2, 2007 6:52 p.m. EST
Updated February 2, 2007 7:39 p.m. EST

— Free drug-testing kits for parents -- it's an idea Sampson County Schools are using to help fight teen drug use.

Statistics from the National Institute on Drug Abuse show teen drug-use is a major problem. About 45 percent of high school seniors say they have used drugs in the past month.

County leaders think giving parents a way to test their children could reduce those numbers.

"It's done in the convenience of their house," said Wesley Johnson, principal at Hobbton High School in Newton Grove. "No one has to know about it."

The county -- the only one in the area to offer such a program -- has about 500 kits to distribute. Few parents, however, have taken advantage of the program, which started in November.

"It may be that parents are afraid to find out what their kids are doing," said Hobbton High counselor Pam Batts.

School officials say another possible reason parents aren't using them is because they don't know about them or that they don't feel like their children need to be tested.

Whether they need a kit or not, some parents, such as Maria Rose, say the tests are about peace of mind.

"You'll know when something's not right," Rose said. "It may not be drugs, but at least with these tests, you can make sure of that."

Parents wanting a free drug-testing kit should contact their local middle school or high school. Each test comes with drug-education material and information on counseling.

The tests are funded by a $45 million grant won by DeLeon Wilks, the 4-H agent for the Sampson County Cooperative Extension office.