Maryland Heights, Mo. (KSDK) - A free way to get your teens tested for drugs. Maryland Heights police and the Lakeside Center will soon offer the program to anyone who lives or goes to school in Maryland Heights.
Taxpayers are not footing the bill, but drug dealers are. Police say they are using confiscated drug money to pay for the program.
The Lakeside Center provides residential treatment services for troubled local teens who have gone through the court system. Yolanda Jones has a son here at Lakeside.
"He had a dirty drug test, when they tested him for marijuana his DJO decided, okay he needs to get some help," says Jones.
She hopes this new program of free drug testing will help other families before their kids get into trouble.
"I wish it kind of would have been around 5 years ago, I have stayed in Maryland Heights for 8 years so it would have been here five years ago for my son," she says.
Maryland Heights police and St. Louis County facility "The Lakeside Center" are teaming up. Starting May 21st on Tuesday nights parents can bring their children ages 12-17 to the Maryland Heights Government Center to get tested.
Police Chief Tim Carson hopes this is a proactive measure in fighting crime.
"A lot of kids that are committing burglaries and stealing to support drug habits," says the Chief.
Police will financially support the program, using forfeited drug money, and offer a location for parents and staff to meet, but the Chief says that's where their involvement ends.
"If a child tests positive for heroin for example the police department is not going to barge into the room and arrest the child," he says.
Instead the staff from Lakeside will work with them to find help.
"This is to make parents aware resources that are available in the community," says Leonard Mcdonald they Director of Residential Services at the Lakeside Center.
'The resources are there now so you need to utilize the resources," says Jones.
Program begins May 21st
Every Tuesday night from 6-8pm
Maryland Heights Government Center
Must be accompanied by an adult
By appointment only
Call: (314) 615-7900