The Town of Huntington is partnering with the county sheriff's department to offer free at-home drug-testing kits that can detect up to seven drugs, to assist parents and guardians in monitoring their minor children.
"It's an epidemic in our community like in others when it comes to heroin and prescription drugs, particularly on the eve of prom and graduation season," said town board member Mark Cuthbertson, who announced the initiative at a news conference at Town Hall Wednesday. "This makes for a safer and better town."
He was joined by Sheriff Vincent DeMarco, town board members Susan Berland and Mark Mayoka and members of the town's Youth Bureau, the Northport-East Northport school district Drug and Alcohol Task Force, and K.I.D.S. Plus, a child advocacy group.
Brookhaven announced a similar partnership last month.
DeMarco said the program was launched in 2009 when the sheriff's department purchased about 10,000 drug testing kits using close to $10,000 seized from drug dealers.
"Because of the epidemic in the community, some school districts and parent groups were getting together and realizing the problem is in their community," DeMarco said. "They realized you can't have blinders on that . . . it is everywhere."
DeMarco stressed that the kits are not an effort to get parents to turn in their children, but to use as a tool in keeping their child off drugs.
"Or if you suspect your child, it could be used to flag the problem and maybe make your child admit and confront the demon that they have and get them into rehab," DeMarco said. "It's a deterrent."
For information, call Huntington's Youth Bureau at 631-351-3061.