Should I Drug Test My Teen?
People often ask me whether they should drug test their teen. I believe that home drug testing of teens is a great tool, but like any tool, it must be used properly. Here are some facts to guide you in your decision making:
Easy Access–Home drug tests can be purchased online or in most pharmacies. Before purchasing, be sure to do some research online, or ask your physician or pharmacist for their recommendation. Be aware that home drug tests do not test for every drug, but they are still very useful.
Peer Pressure Victory–Most teens will inevitably be faced with peer pressure or circumstances to try drugs. If you let your teen know that they will be randomly drug tested, then you are giving them a safe way out of these pressure filled situations. This can be very powerful!
Tested Positive—Now What?–Think through how you will respond if your teen tests positive. Start with an honest heart-to-heart and try to find out what is going on in your teen’s life. Schedule an appointment with a counselor specializing in addictions. Continue testing and if there are more positive results get your teen into treatment.
Tested Negative—Now What?–A negative test deserves praise and still serves as an opportunity for honest discussion about drugs and alcohol—a subject that many are uncomfortable to discuss. Create a culture in your family where it is safe to talk about anything.
Also, keep in mind that a negative test may also mean that drugs have simply already passed through your teen’s system and are no longer detectable. If you observe suspicious behavior, follow your intuition and test again soon or consult with your physician or a counselor.
Parenting teens is hard! The wise parent will use every tool in the toolbox and drug testing is a great tool. I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts on this subject. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my websites www.randymoraitis.com or www.thecrossing.com.