An Open Letter To Parents From Steve & Debbie Moak
We write this as parents who know first hand the heartache that substance abuse can cause within a family.
In 1999, after having lived through the pain of drug abuse within our family, and after having watched several of our friends’ families struggle with similar challenges, we made the commitment to use our resources to help others. Such is how notMYkid began.
Over the years, notMYkid has grown in terms of the number of students and parents it reaches every year, and currently notMYkid directly reaches over 50,000 people a year through its various programs.
As parents, we realized too late the positive impact that drug testing can have as a prevention tool, and after extensive study and evaluation, we also determined that there were no programs utilizing drug testing in the home as a method of prevention. We further determined that parents and many professionals were surprisingly unaware that FDA approved home drug tests were even available. Further study revealed that middle school, for both students and parents, was the right time to introduce the concept of drug education utilizing home drug testing as the cornerstone. Out of that knowledge grew notMYkid National (formerly Project 7th Grade).
In 2004, in order to facilitate the distribution of such kits to parents across the nation, notMYkid rolled out Project 7th Grade, now notMYkid National, and Steve Moak along with Todd Stottlemyre, Dan Marjele, Rob Fredrickson, Kevin Gadawski and others who believed in the cause invested in the acquisition of a company that specialized in the distribution of such test kits—First Check Diagnostics LLC. In February 2007, First Check was sold to Inverness Medical Innovations, Inc., which has committed to continue First Check’s support of Project 7th Grade and its efforts to reduce drug use among today’s youth.
In addition to the idea of using home drug testing as a means of private, proactive, prevention, a key element of notMYkid National has been, and continues to be: trust but verify. More specifically, even though we may trust our kids, as parents, we all still check their report cards, and we all still check to see that they’re in their rooms by curfew. We trust, but we still verify. Project 7th Grade extends that concept to the critical area of drug prevention by placing into parents’ hands technology that has only become available within the past 5 years.
According to a recent study, performed by researchers at Arizona State University, 84% of parents would “definitely recommend” notMYkid National to other parents. The program is making a difference for the better in the lives of our nation’s children, and we hope that you will embrace this program as enthusiastically as other parents across the U.S.
Steve and Debbie Moak