Drug Testing Teenagers

The ability for concerned parents to drug test at home has now been an option for almost 20 years.

Despite this, little research is available on the effectiveness or harm this home test has had, with many assuming the test to be destructive to the relationship, invasive and many claiming it breaches a childs human rights to privacy, (of self destruction, depending on your perspective )

Our view has always been that the best and only person able to decide on the merits and pitfalls of home drug testing is the parent contemplating it.

The commonest home drug test performed in the UK is Cannabis drug testing. This is most commonly performed as a voluntary urine sample test, but there is a growing movement towards saliva or oral fliud testing. Neither can be performed covertly and require a sample to be volunteered by a donor. Results are 97-98% reliable when compared to laboratory methods and results are available in under 10 minutes on site. the technology is really no more complicated than a home pregnancy test.

Most parents implement random testing for only short periods of time following the realisation that drug experimentaion has occured. If implemented properly the testing can motivate avoidance behaviour in the young person who gains a legitmate excuse to say no in peer group settings where experimentation and sharing occur.

If home testing has a negative affect it should be reviewed quickly and professional help for the percieved drug problem sought. Home drug screening will not work for all parents, but for many it has enabled confirmation of their concerns, a quantification of the extent of the problem and a useful monitoring and motivational tool to assist them in managing the problem at an early stage.

More on home drug testing options