COAST CITIES — The county of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency has funded a new service to help combat teen drug abuse. The service, administered by four partnering agencies – McAlister Institute, Mental Health Systems, Palavra Tree and Phoenix House – will provide a free initial drug test for teens at various locations in the San Diego region, including one in Carlsbad and one in San Marcos.Locally, tests will be available at Phoenix House, 785 Grand Ave., Suite 220, Carlsbad on Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Call (760) 729-2830. Tests will also be given at Mental Health Systems, 340 Rancheros Drive, Suite 166, San Marcos, Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call (760) 744-3672. Additional locations can be found at mcalisterinc.org/freetest/.
The new free Initial Drug Test is a tool for parents to help identify whether their child is using drugs so they can make an informed decision about next steps such as intervention and treatment options. Each of the partners may offer different testing protocols, from instant urine tests that offer quick results, to tests involving lab analysis of hair follicles, saliva, and blood.
“The important thing,” McAlister said, “is to have your teen tested as early as possible if you suspect he or she is under the influence or engaged in drug use. Early intervention substantially improves our ability to reduce the dangerous consequences of drug abuse, including accidents, injuries, medical problems, criminal involvement and even death.”
If you are concerned about someone’s substance abuse, call the San Diego Access and Crisis Line at (888) 724-7240, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.