Auburn Police hope to bring teen drug use down through testing kits

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The Auburn Police Department is hoping to decrease teen drug abuse. The department is now selling drug testing kits for $5.03, including tax, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday at the department’s public service counter, according to Sgt. Scott Alford. According to Alford, the National Institute on Drug Abuse says illicit use of drugs by United States youth has increased from 2007 to 2010, when the agency’s most recent survey was taken. “The 2010 study indicates that 21.4 percent of eighth-graders, 37 percent of 10th-graders and 48.2 percent of 12th- graders have participated in illicit drug use,” Alford said. Alford said the department recently received a donation from the Auburn Elks Lodge and was able to purchase a supply of the kits. He said they test for specific depressants, cocaine, cannabis, methamphetamines, amphetamines and opiates. “Our goal is to make these kits available to parents who suspect their children of drug abuse with the hope that early detection will help reverse the trend of increased teenage drug abuse,” Alford said. According to Alford, the vendor for the kits said they have a 98 percent accuracy rate. Proceeds from sales will go toward maintaining a supply of the kits available for the community at the department. Alford said E.V. Cain Charter Middle School and Placer High School staff are aware of the kits and will refer those interested to the police department. For more information call Auburn Police at (530) 823-4237, ext. 501. ~Staff report