Home drug test kits private, free
Do you suspect your child is using drugs?

Wanda English Burnett, Editor

What lengths would you go to if your child needed medical help? Stories of parents donating their own organs and blood, raising money for the best medical care, and sacrificing everything financially to save their child, are the typical answers.

What if you suspect your child is self destructing by using drugs? Where can parents turn to for help?
The Versailles Police Department is now offering a tool that will give parents the definite answer on the question, “Is my child using drugs?”

According to Versailles Town Marshal Joe Mann, the department has home use drug test kits that are available at no charge. The test is completely private with the results known only to the participants. What the parent(s) decides to do with the knowledge the test provides is up to them.

Marshal Mann said he saw kits that were sent to another marshal and thought the concept could help with a growing drug problem among juveniles. “There is widespread use of a number of prescription drugs - they’re the most popular due to easy access,” he noted.

Many households have prescription drugs that are not fully used, such as pain relievers. Juveniles quickly learn they can use something as innocent as a cough suppressant to get high. They also know the street value of a prescription pill, such as Xanax.

The Versailles marshal said while the drug test kits do not catch every drug, they can screen the more popular ones such as marijuana, cocaine, meth, heroin, and various prescription drugs. Mann and his K-9 partner, Buddy, know the reality of drug usage in the rural area of Ripley County from stops they have made. The marshal is also in tune with his community and habits of its residents. He maintains that drug dealers have no boundaries or conscience. They will sell to a 20-year user or a teenager who is testing the water.

The drug test kits, which are available at the Versailles Police Department, 118 West Water Street, during regular business hours (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.) could be the beginning of saving a child’s life, according to Mann. “Sometimes parents know something is wrong, but can’t or won’t believe their child is involved in drug use. The kits can be a real eye opener,” he noted, adding, “Parents can take the proper steps to get help for their child as needed or have the reassurance their child is not involved with drugs.”

The drug test kits were purchased with funds from a grant from the Ripley County Community Foundation. While they are not cheap, the cost is well worth saving a child’s life and both Mann and Deputy Marshal Lee Mathews are thankful to the RCCF for funding the program.

For more information call Mann at 689-6122 (leave message). Due to a limited supply, kits are limited to one per household.