Free Drug Testing Kits for UK Schools

The first step in a drive to make free drug testing kits available to all UK schools and parents is now under way.

A UK supplier of home testing kits, Preventx, are giving thousands of their products to schools across the country to help tackle the growing numbers of drug abuse among children.

Schools are allowed to test pupils with parents’ consent if they have been suspected of taking and selling drugs, and in 2004, Prime Minister Tony Blair gave his backing to heads who decide to introduce testing measures.

Preventx director, Michelle Hart said: “This is the first of what we hope to be many schemes that we are involved with that will help tackle school drug issues.

“We supply a high percentage of our testing kits to public schools, but due to budget constraints, state schools sometimes cannot afford them. The government has to realise that something should be done to an already escalating problem.

“We intend on supplying not only to schools but to parents also, so they can ease their own minds in the privacy of their own home. If children know they could be tested, it gives them an excuse to say ‘no’ to drugs.”

In January 2005, a random drug testing programme was introduced at the Abbey School in Faversham, Kent. Head teacher, Peter Walker said since introducing the testing programme, GCSE pass rates had increased and the school felt a lot safer environment.

Public Health Minister, Melanie Johnson said: “It’s vital that we make it easier for young teenagers to get tested for drugs. By offering this service in convenient locations such as in schools or in homes, it will make it easier to detect and prevent.”

An 11-year-old schoolgirl from Glasgow was rushed into hospital on Wednesday after collapsing in school from smoking heroin. Teachers believed she had accidentally taken the drug but left them astonished when she admitted to have been smoking it regularly for the last two months.

Source: PRWeb Jan 31st 2006

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