CANTON, Mass., March 30 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Avitar, Inc. (Amex: - ) shares information about increased drug use in schools since September 11th.
Dr. MariCarmen Escobar and Ms. Vanessa Prats of Med Far Biol located in Mexico City, work with secondary schools to assist in the development and implementation of drugs-of-abuse policies, testing, and counseling. As leading innovators in the fight to eliminate the use of illicit drugs in schools, Med Far Biol recently called attention to a disturbing trend in school age children in Mexico. Prior to September 11th, the average age that school age children began to use drugs-of-abuse was eleven years old. Since September 11th, the average age has dropped significantly to nine years of age. Dr. Escobar and Ms. Prats attribute this startling trend to the fact that fewer drugs are leaving Mexico due to increase in security at all U.S. borders.
"Drugs are now very inexpensive in Mexico and flooding the country. Now, more than ever, schools, administrators, and parents need to improve their efforts relative to drug awareness programs, drug testing, and counseling programs," noted Dr. Escobar and Ms. Prats. "Parents are in favor of drug testing, and Avitar's oral-based product, ORALscreen(TM), in particular because it maintains the dignity of their children during the test process", noted Ms. Prats.
"Avitar is grateful to be able to support our partners, Dr. Escobar and Ms. Prats of Med Far Biol, in their fight against drugs in schools," said Pete Phildius, Chairman and CEO of Avitar. "The efforts of Dr. Escobar and Ms. Prats, and President Bush's recent call upon Congress to support student drug testing in the United States underscore the international scope of the fight to eliminate drugs of abuse. As the leading developer of on-site oral testing products for drugs-of-abuse, Avitar is committed to supporting school drug testing initiatives throughout the Americas."
Ms. Prats called attention to the benefits of on-site oral-based testing for drugs-of-abuse. Unlike traditional urine testing, oral-based testing for drugs-of-abuse can be directly observed, preventing the ability to cheat the test, while preserving the dignity of students.
Recently asked by a school in Mexico City to assist in the drug testing process, Ms. Prats found a situation where one student in a group of five was suspected of using drugs, however, the identity of the particular student at risk was not known. All five students were administered the oral-based on- site test for drugs-of- abuse, a simple process that is accomplished in minutes and is basically as simple as using an oral thermometer. Within minutes the results were available, and the student, like most students when they are discovered, readily admitted to drug use. The student was entered into the school's support program.
"Drug testing is a very important component of any school's drug-of-abuse prevention program. Used appropriately with drug education and counseling programs, oral on-site drug testing enables schools to better understand the success of their drugs-of-abuse elimination programs, and expedites getting help to students in need", noted Dr. Jasso, a private secondary school administrator.
Avitar, Inc. develops, manufactures and markets innovative and proprietary products in the oral fluid diagnostic market, and customized polyurethane applications used in the wound dressing industry. Oral fluid diagnostics includes the estimated $1.5 billion drugs-of-abuse testing market, which encompasses the corporate workplace and criminal justice markets. Avitar's products include ORALscreen(TM), the world's first non-invasive, rapid, onsite oral fluid test for drugs-of-abuse. Additionally, Avitar manufactures and markets HYDRASORB(TM) an absorbent topical dressing for moderate to heavy exudating wounds. For more information, see Avitar's website at avitarinc.com.
ABOUT MED FAR BIOL
MED FAR BIOL, a Mexican company, is dedicated to importing and distributing health-related products, including oral-based testing of drugs- of-abuse, to schools and multinational manufacturing and security companies. Services include counseling to school administrators, teachers, parents and students about the consequences of using illicit drugs. Schools, parents, and students are in favor of oral-based drug testing as it preserves student dignity. Manufacturing companies have been able to significantly lower accident rates and insurances costs risk and costs by promoting a drug-free and safe environment within the company using instant non-invasive oral fluid drug screening. Private security companies are mandated by local law to have all employees periodically drug tested. These companies have found that oral- based drug testing is a more acceptable, user-friendly technology.
Safe Harbor Statement. This release contains forward looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties including the development and marketing of new applications and other risks that are detailed from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In view of such risks and uncertainties, the Company's actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward looking statements.
Vice President, Marketing
Avitar Technologies, Inc.