4.1 min readBy Published On: October 21st, 2016Categories: News0 Comments on Not My Kid – Red Ribbon Week

Drug use, abuse and addiction can strike fear in the most fiercely protective parent. Given today’s unfathomable opioid and heroin crisis, the chances of our children falling prey to this insidious disease get higher every day.

With each new school year, kids are faced with many challenges, but nothing more serious than peer pressure to use drugs. Often times, a simple “no” isn’t enough to deflect peer pressure, and that’s why notMYkid, a national non-profit organization, is partnering with the Gavin Foundation and the Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services to promote substance abuse prevention awareness during the month of October and in support of Red Ribbon Week.

“Most parents are unaware that the average age for first-time drug experimentation is 13,” said notMYkid CEO Aimee Runyon. “When a child starts using drugs, it is typically two years before parents realize there is a problem. We want to help parents become knowledgeable and start the dialogue with their children early.”

Starting on the 19th and for the remainder of the month, parents may visit the Gavin Foundation (near St. Monica’s Church at 70 Devine Way) to pick up a free at home drug test kit donated by First Check Diagnostics, the leader in home diagnostic testing.

Director of the Office of Recovery Services Jennifer Tracey states “The Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services is pleased to join the Gavin Foundation and notMYkid organization to educate and equip parents and other caregivers with tools to talk with their teens about drug and alcohol issues. Today’s partnership further enhances our efforts to provide parents and community stakeholders with information and tools to help families.”

This national campaign has been activated in 15 cities across the United States. Longtime partner, First Check Diagnostics, has generously donated more than 3,000 free home drug test kits to support this year’s prevention awareness campaign. Each kit is valued at $40 and comes with substance abuse prevention strategies and a family drug prevention plan.

“First Check Diagnostics has been a proud national sponsor of notMYkid for over 12 years,” said Stacey Morano, marketing manager at First Check Diagnostics. “Our home test kits are a proven deterrent and easy way for parents to start the conversation with their kids.”

 notMYkid is coordinating local events and distribution efforts with local public safety agencies, schools and other organizations in more than a dozen communities across the U.S. For a list of cities, partners and local events visit www.notMYkid.org/backtoschool.

Gavin Foundation President and CEO John McGahan emphasizes the importance of communication for children and their parents. “The conversation has to start early, before a child tries alcohol or drugs. Peer pressure to have a drink or use drugs is strong. We need to give our young people the tools they need to be able to say no.”

The Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services recently joined notMYkid onsite at the Devine RecoveryCenter to promote awareness of the newly launched ”311 for Recovery Services”, the City of Boston’s new hotline support system designed to help Boston residents access to information and referral to recovery resources. As part of the recovery-related support services for friends and family, parents or guardians in the city of Boston who call 311 will now be referred to the nearest designated Gavin Foundation program to receive information and pick up a free at home drug test kit.



Photo: From left to right:

Helen McDermott, Program Manager, Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services

Brendan Little, Policy Director, Mayor’s Office of Recovery Services

Kristen Polin, Vice President of Programs, notMYkid

Susan Bradley, Development Director, Gavin Foundation

Aimee Runyon, CEO, notMYkid

Jimmy McCray, Operations Director, Gavin Foundation

About notMYkid: Founded in 2000 by a Scottsdale, AZ family to share their family’s experience with teen addiction, notMYkid is a Scottsdale, AZ based non-profit dedicated to inspiring positive life choices by educating individuals and communities about the consequences of destructive youth behaviors such as substance abuse, body image, unhealthy relationships, bullying, depression, and internet safety. In an effort to promote prevention messages, notMYkid increases awareness of the challenges kids face, provides information and offers resources to support the success of students, families, and educators. For more information, visit www.notMYkid.org.

About The Gavin Foundation:  The Gavin Foundation is a multi-service nonprofit agency providing comprehensive, community-based substance abuse education, prevention and treatment. We serve more than 5,000 individuals each year through our adult, youth and community programs. We recognize that youth affected by drug and alcohol use face special challenges in building their recovery capacity. Their substance misuse undermines adolescent and young adult tasks of building support networks, defining values which guide life choices, and taking on greater responsibilities for self-care. Family relationships are damaged and educational losses undermine employment opportunities. We offer specialized adolescent residential, community, educational and diversion programs to respond to these needs. www.gavinfoundation.org


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