A Scottsdale-based national organization is mounting a pre-emptive strike against what is known as 420, or National Get High Day. notMykid will hand out free drug-test kits to parents on the day before April 20, also known as “National Pot-Smoking Day.”
notMYkid co-founder Debbie Moak says the organization has found that kids who know there is a drug test in their home are empowered to avoid peer-pressure situations because they have a valid excuse: “I can’t, my parents might drug test me.”
Many kids have told her that they don’t want to do drugs, but they “feel so much pressure, like no one in the world is not using,” Moak says. “It makes me angry that parents can take so much of that pressure off their kids and don’t. When it comes to drugs, we [as parents] need to do more than just talk.”
After watching her son go through drug addiction and recovery, Moak, her husband Steve and Mark Rohde, Ph.D., started notMykid in 2000. The organization strives to educate the community, both parents and kids, about the consequences of drug use and other negative behaviors. Although originally only focused on substance abuse, notMYkids now sends young adults to talk to middle and high school students about substance and alcohol abuse as well as eating disorders, depression, self-injury, safe dating, bullying and Internet safety. According to Moak, speakers reach 100,000 or more Arizona students a year through these school visits.
Parents shouldn’t wait until a crisis to intervene in their child’s life, Moak advises. “Stand up and be pro-active.”
Nine locations nationwide will give out drug tests as part of notMYkid
on 420. The organization expects to hand out 6,000 free drug tests — 1,000 in Arizona alone. All are being donated by First Check.
Kits will be available at notMYkid’s national headquarters, 5230 E. Shea Blvd. #100 in Scottsdale, from 9am to 5 pm. Partner organization Rural/Metro will hand out kits at the Southwest Ambulence Headquarters, 708 W. Baseline Rd. in Mesa, from 7am to 5pm. — Amy Vogelsang