A Marietta high school is offering $12 testing kits to parents wanting to find out if their child is experimenting with drugs.
It allows parents to know the answer in just a few minutes. The kits test for marijuana, methamphetamine, cocaine and opiates such as morphine and heroin. They also will detect “club drugs” such as Ecstasy up to five days after ingestion.
If a child tests positive, a toll-free number is provided for parents to seek additional information or help.
Marietta is believed to be the first Georgia school district to participate in the Law Enforcement/Local Educators Against Drugs program.
Police departments and school districts in about 20 states _ including Tennessee, Florida and Alabama _ are offering the tests.
Parents with middle school children also can buy the tests from counselors at Marietta High School, a service available through a new Marietta Police Department program.
Police said they will not keep track of buyers of the kits and school officials said they will have no further involvement after a parent buys one.
“This is for parents to do in the home, not to bring to the police,” said Marietta police Lt. Mike Hathaway, who helped bring the program to the city.
Counselor Chenedra Corbin said demand will be high.
“Almost weekly, I have a parent in my office suspicious that their child may be experimenting with drugs and asking how to go about testing them,” Corbin said.
Until now, she has pointed them to a doctor’s office or the police, Corbin said.
The urine-based tests are available through the Michigan-based L.E.A.D. Total Diagnostics, which supplies the kits to treatment centers, courts, law enforcement and businesses across the country.
The kits were bought with $1,000 each from two Marietta Wal-Mart stores. The $12 fee charged for the tests will be used to buy more kits, school officials said.