Free home drug-testing kits available for Knox County

Photo by Emily Baker  Deputy Director Tom Vicini distributed home drug testing kits to local organizations and demonstrated how to conduct the test.
Photo by Emily Baker
Deputy Director Tom Vicini distributed home drug testing kits to local organizations and demonstrated how to conduct the test.

More than 100 home drug testing kits are now available in Knox County.

Tom Vicini, Deputy Director of UNITE and Regional Coalition Coordinator, held the “Give Me a Reason” training class Monday, Nov. 16, to instruct various site representatives on proper use of home drug-testing kits.

The free kits will be available at various sites, including the high schools and middle schools, KCEOC, the Knox County Health Department, Barbourville City Police Department and the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

“This is not intended to be an on-site drug test.” explained Vicini. “This is supposed to be a tool for parents, grandparents and guardians.”

The kits test for a wide range of illegal and prescription drugs and will come with information for each drug.

The privacy of the child and family using the test are of utmost importance, no names will be taken when a guardian requests a kit.

“It best serves the public to remain anonymous,” continued Vicini. “This is not a law enforcement initiative. We’re not out to arrest anyone.”

If a kit results in a positive response, parents and guardians are advised to conduct a second precautionary test, then contact a local drug-prevention resource. A list of resources will be available through Operation UNITE.

Claudia Greenwood, Knox County UNITE Coalition Chair, said she is optimistic about UNITE’s community involvement.

“Knox County UNITE is very thankful to parter with Operation UNITE and Appalachia HIDTA to offer free drug kits for use with our youth,” said Greenwood. “This is a prevention mechanism that will encourage our kids to remain drug free and a great resource for parents.”

Operation UNITE distributed 147 drug kits at their training class, but have 10,000 more on the way.

“Hopefully, this will be something that will be available for years to come,” said Vicini.