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Drug Testing Could Ensure Kids Get Addiction Help Before They Get into Serious Trouble

Worried that your son or daughter is taking drugs and you don’t know about it? You should be. On the average, kids use drugs for two years before their parents find out. Some parents and schools depend on random, and mandatory, drug testing to detect drug use early so they can get addiction help before there are any disasters. But mandatory drug testing is often frowned upon as a violation of privacy. A new drug testing program has been initiated by the Board of Education in Boardman, Ohio that might just fit the bill.

The new testing system does testing only with parental approval, and the results go directly to the parents. That way, the parents have control over the information and over what is to be done about it. The parents pay $22 a year to participate in the program.

In some cases, they might want the school to know about it so whatever the school system is for disciplining and reporting the information can be applied. But parents can, instead, choose to keep the information to themselves, deal with their children privately and possibly even get them into a drug rehab program.

Parents usually find out their kids are on drugs because the signs have become unmistakable: grades go down (and not just from A+ to A), the kids get moody, they’re more disassociated from the family and, often, friends – they’ve ditched their old friends and now have new ones (with whom they are taking drugs). Sometimes the parents don’t even find out until a really dangerous incident occurs – like a traffic accident or even a trip to the emergency room.

Some people have asked why the parents don’t just test the kids themselves. Good point. It might strain the relationship between parents and kids to do drug testing no matter who does it. And the school probably has easier, and less expensive, access to labs that evaluate the tests.

Obviously, this is something parents would have to discuss with their kids. They have to understand that many kids get involved with drugs due to peer pressure, and sometimes they just can’t resist. If they understand that, and the parents do a little research and are able to give their kids plenty of examples of good kids getting caught up in drugs and even getting addicted or overdosing, kids might understand that their parents are not doing it because they don’t trust them, but because they love them and do understand that doing the right thing isn’t always easy.

If you’re worried about your kids, discuss the possibility with them.

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