2/11/2014 4:57:00 PM Police distributing
free drug test kits
Ann Gill Editor
Coal City Police made more heroin arrests last year than any other law enforcement agency in the county.
Local officers have been called to scenes where individuals have been left to die on picnic tables and in portable toilets after overdosing on the drug.
Police Chief Tom Best knows there is a drug abuse problem in his community and he's directing his staff to address it.
"My officers continue to investigate the subjects, residents and mules involved in these activities with assistance from the Metropolitan Area Narcotics Squad (MANS) and surrounding agencies," Best said.
In an effort to bring the issue to light, the department held a heroin forum last month. The event, held in conjunction with the Grundy County State's Attorney's Office and No Tolerance Task Force, drew about 200 people to Coal City High School.
As Best points out, much of the forum was targeted at assisting parents with recognizing the signs of drug abuse.
"As part of this initiative and moving forward we would like to present an innovative program to assist parents in curbing teenage drug abuse," the chief said.
The program, supported by the state's attorney, makes home drug test kits available to parents at no cost. The kits can be used in privacy to assist parents and guardians with monitoring the behavior of their children who are under the age of 18.
"The test kits give parents a tool to engage in the critical conversations about drug use and offers a method for parents who suspect their child may be using illegal substances to be reassured of their judgment and seek professional help if needed," Best said.
The chief said the department will provide the test kits, but will not follow up on the results.
"There will be no prosecution, no arrests, it's just there for parents to test their kids. To give them a level of confidence that their children are not using drugs, or provide them the knowledge they need to secure counseling or drug treatment for their child," Best said.
The test kits, much like those that can be purchased at a pharmacy, were provided to the department by Grundy County State's Attorney Jason Helland. He purchased the kits with drug forfeiture funds.
Each test kit comes with a letter providing tips on how to talk to children about drug testing and resources in the event of a positive test.
The test will check for opiates, cocaine, methamphetamines, amphetamines and THS, an ingredient in marijuana.
"I hope that this will be successful in the same way that many other services we provide have been in the past," Best said.
To inquire about a drug test kit call 815-634-8533 or stop by the police station during regular business hours, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Posted: Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Article comment by:
I've had some experience with testing drug users. One thing I was not aware of, was the small window of opportunity to catch heroin in someone's system. What is the approximate time frame from time of drug use, that people need to test their loved one in in order to catch the drug use? Can that time frame be made public so that others don't make the same mistake I had been making.