New program helps parents work with kids to combat drug addiction

Virginia

Local basketball players took on law enforcement officers in the Play for Prevention basketball tournament. At the game, the Give Me a Reason drug prevention initiative was introduced to local parents for the first time.

“They’re saliva-based drug kits. So a parent would simply swab the mouth of their child. They can read the alcohol test within two minutes and the rest of drug test within ten minutes,” said Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition executive director Lauren Cummings. 

Starting in April, these free drug testing kits will be available at various locations across the community.

“It gives parents an opportunity to open up a conversation with their child. You know, even if they don’t think their child is using anything,” said  Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition panelist Kim Shupe.

The Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition says that 90 percent of adults who struggle with substance abuse, started using before they were 18.

“The coalition has focused a lot these past few years on treatment and recovery and now we want to go further upstream and really focus on prevention. How do we prevent more individuals from ever experimenting with drugs and just really living a healthier lifestyle,” said Cummings. 

The Give Me a Reason drug prevention initiative was funded by a $91,000 Rotary Foundation Global Grant. 

Here is a full list of where these drug testing kits can be picked up:

  • Fellowship Bible Church, 3217 Middle Road, Winchester, VA 22602 (540) 662-7743 
  • Frederick/Winchester Health Department, 10 Baker Street, Winchester, VA 22601 (540) 722-3470
  • Grace Downtown of Winchester, 35 East Jubal Early Drive, Winchester, VA 22601 (540) 514-8297
  • Northwestern Community Services Board, 1014 Amherst Street, Winchester, VA 22601 and 214 South Braddock Street, Winchester, VA 22601 (540) 667-8888
  • Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition, 305 East Piccadilly Street, Winchester, VA 22601 (540) 536-5004
  • Rotz Pharmacy, 1338 Amherst Street, Winchester, VA 22601 (540) 662-8312
  • Sinclair Health Clinic, 301 North Cameron Street, Winchester, VA 22601 (540) 536-1680
  • Winchester Parks and Recreation Department, 1001 East Cork Street, Winchester, VA 22601 (540) 662-4946
  • Winchester Police Department, 231 East Piccadilly Street, Winchester, VA 22601. (540) 662-4131
  • Youth Development Center, 3 Battaile Drive, Winchester, VA 22601. (540) 662-4564

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