Cheap, reliable and accurate – drug tests give you peace of mind, and also let you get them the help needed quickly, should a test come back positive.
There is nothing an adolescent hates more than an intrusion into their privacy, and drug tests are certainly intrusive, but they are also very accurate, and can be a very useful tool for parents concerned about substance use and abuse. I don’t think that drug testing is necessarily appropriate as a preventative measure for kids without a history of abuse, and if they have acted responsibly they should be rewarded for that behavior with increasing levels of trust; but for kids with a history of abuse, I feel that they are a valid parental tool.
About half of all kids who enter a residential treatment program will relapse back to some degree of drug or alcohol abuse at some point, and the earlier this use is detected, the earlier help can be arranged and the greater ultimate probability of success. Kids who have a history of drug and alcohol abuse should be informed that drug testing is to become a regular part of the family life, and there should be no exceptions made once this announcement is made.
Today’s testing kits, particularly urine testing kits, are inexpensive, very reliable and accurate; and provide an easy way for parents to be sure of their kid’s use or non use. The fact is that all kids will lie to their parents at some point, and kids with drug or alcohol abuse problems are even more prone to lying to cover their abusive behaviors; but a drug test does not lie, and teens will also know in advance that if they use, their parents will know. The ideal result for the introduction of family drug testing is not to catch teens in the act as such, but to keep them from indulging, knowing that if they do they will certainly be caught.
The consequences for a positive test result should be made clear in advance, and if a test does come back positive, parents must have the strength to implement whatever treatment or consequences had been pre agreed to. If a kid knows that a positive drug test means another session at a drug rehab facility, that may be enough to keep them from using. Kids are pretty clever though, so you have to be sure that the test you are using is reliable, and as well be aware of any possible ways to "fool" the test.
Kids get the information they need to beat drug tests from the internet, but that info is there for you too. Speak with an addictions specialist on the best way to implement reliable and accurate drug testing into your family’s routine. Your kids will hate it, but it might just be enough of a deterrent to use that it will keep them safe…and they’ll thank you for it later. Parenting an adolescent is never easy, and when your teen is using or abusing drugs or alcohol, this transitional period is especially complex. Drug testing can help.