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"Not My Kid" on 420


April 16, 2013 - PHOENIX, AZ

In high school, Shane tried marijuana for fun with a new group of friends. By his freshman year of college, he was smoking pot daily. By graduation he was using cocaine, ecstasy and heroin. Soon, the once-promising writer and loving son was addicted, in debt, a convicted felon and suicidal.

On April 20 (420), also known as "National Get High Day," many kids around the world will try marijuana and other substances for the first time and parents need to understand the profound risks.

National non-profit notMYkid.org, which focuses on preventing the devastation of teen addiction, is launching a parent awareness and prevention campaign on the surprising dangers of the 420 culture, which most parents do not even know exists. Most are also unaware the average age for first-time drug experimentation is 13 and if a child starts using drugs, it is typically two years before parents realize there is a problem. Long-term studies show few young people use other illegal drugs without first trying marijuana.

Frighteningly, addictive substances physically alter the structure and function of the developing teen brain, which impairs judgment and heightens the risk of addiction.

The term 420 is the universal code for marijuana use and April 20 has become a counterculture holiday celebrating drug use. notMYkid educates parents and encourages them to take action to protect their kids with information.

"Talking to your kids is only the first step," said Debbie Moak, founder of notMYkid and a mother who faced her own teen son's addiction. "We need parents to take action -- get on the same page, set consistent boundaries, drug test their kids, participate in their lives and most importantly, serve as positive role models. Through years of experience, notMYkid has found utilizing a drug test in the home helps kids avoid peer pressure situations by empowering them to say 'No, I can't, my parents drug test me.'"

Through partnerships with Rural/Metro, a leading provider of private ambulance and fire protection services, and First Check, the leader in home diagnostic testing, notMYkid will distribute 3,600 free home drug test kits and information to concerned parents in select cities across the U.S. on Friday, April 19. This $144,000 donation is part of a drug prevention program with test kit donations valued at more than $400,000 annually.

Test kits will be available at designated Rural/Metro locations in metro-Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz., San Diego, Orange County and Los Angeles County, Calif., Denver/Aurora, Colo., metro-Atlanta, Orlando and Sumter County, Fla., Louisville, Ky., Rochester and Syracuse, N.Y., Salem, Ore., Sioux Falls, S.D., Memphis and Knoxville, Tenn. (Specific locations and details are available at notMYkid.org).

"Our paramedics, EMTs and firefighters from throughout the nation are too often called to heartbreaking emergencies involving teens and drugs, and we want to do our part to prevent these tragedies from ever occurring," said Rural/Metro President and Chief Executive Officer Michael DiMino. "Rural/Metro has proudly partnered with notMYkid so that together, we can serve, educate and protect families and encourage parents to take a proactive stance when it comes to teens and drugs."

notMYkid's peer-to-peer program sends young adults who have overcome life-controlling addictions and behaviors into the community to share their stories, a powerful program making a significant difference in young lives. Every year, notMYkid speaks to more than 100,000 kids and tens of thousands of parents. Shane lost 20 years of his life to drugs and alcohol. Since beginning his recovery, and with the help of his family and notMYkid, he now takes a message of prevention and hope to Arizona youth.

For more information on 420, the warning signs of teen drug addiction and advice on developing a family drug prevention plan, visit www.notMYkid.org

About notMYkid

Founded in 2000 by Debbie and Steve Moak to share their family's experience with teen addiction, notMYkid is a Phoenix-based national non-profit dedicated to inspiring positive life choices by educating individuals and communities about the consequences of destructive youth behaviors such as substance abuse, eating disorders, binge drinking, 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 Rural/Metro

Rural/Metro Corporation is a leading national provider of 911-emergency and non-emergency interfacility ambulance services and private fire protection services in 21 states and approximately 700 communities throughout the United States. Rural/Metro's EMS professionals provide more than 1.5 million ambulance transports each year. For more information, visit the Company's web site at www.ruralmetro.com.

About First Check

First Check Diagnostics Corp. is a leading manufacturer of home diagnostic test kits. The First Check® Home Drug Test portfolio includes a full range of products, from a marijuana home drug test to a test for prescription drug use. First Check is committed to leading the market in both home testing for drug use and home testing for general health concerns. For more information about the First Check product line, please explore the company's website at www.firstcheckfamily.com. For product-related questions, please call 1-888-788-5716.

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The Lavidge Company
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Greg Sexton
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