Should Drug Testing on Your Child Be Done Secretly or Explicitly?
Many are aware of the negative effects that drug abuse can inflict on an individual’s life. The worst thing is that many children and adolescents are already exposed to drugs and other substances at an early age. Although the use of certain drugs among children has remained at steadily low levels for the past years, there’s no denying the harmful effects that these drugs can have on them.
What Drugs Do to Your Teen’s Body
Adolescents’ brains tend to be more susceptible to damage due to drug use. This makes them more likely to develop drug and substance addiction.
The short-term effects can range from a change in appetite to a change in blood pressure, which can be measured with a blood pressure apparatus. When used for a longer-term, drugs can lead to serious chronic health conditions, such as cancer, heart or lung disease, or a mental illness.
The effects can go on even after they stop taking these drugs. Because of these dangers, it is understandable that parents fear for the lives of their kids, often resorting to drug testing even on their own children.
If you are currently experiencing the same dilemma, you may be considering to have your teen tested for drugs. The question is, Should you do it secretly, or should you get their permission first?
Over the years, drug testing has been a recommended and effective tool in various settings to assess, treat, and avert drug and substance abuse—both among adults and children. But just as with adults, there remains the importance of privacy when doing such tests on children. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics advises against drug testing on kids.
According to experts, this can be an invasive breach of trust that may negatively affect the parent-child relationship. Introducing the idea of testing your kids for drugs may give them the notion that you don’t trust them and make them feel betrayed. Moreover, you may find it difficult to earn that trust back in the future.
If you don’t approach them properly, your children can view you more as a police officer rather than a parent that values their privacy. The ideal thing to do is to inform them of the procedure and to get their consent beforehand. Doing so will show that you protect their privacy and that you value their dignity as your children and as individuals.
Which Test Is Best?
Since there is not a single test that can detect all kinds of illegal substances, you might want to check out standard saliva and urine testing kits for marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, and other drugs.
An MDMA drug test should be able to detect if your teens have been exposed to ecstasy by dipping the kit into their urine. Before giving the test, make sure to take out certain substances from your bathroom that could falsely manipulate the results such as bleach and other cleaning products.
Other types of drug testing that you can consider are hair testing and saliva tests. Although they may be less invasive than urine kits, both of these tests have their own pros and cons, just as with urine testing. The best thing to do is to leave drug screening to the experts, especially if you suspect a positive drug screen from your child.
Getting your teen tested for drugs may come as a huge risk for you as a parent, but when you do it with respect and love, it should yield a favorable outcome both for you and your loved one.