by Dominica Applegate
Pros And Cons Of Using Drug Test Kits For Your Teen
Teens. One minute you’re sitting around laughing with them and the next they’re yelling at you about how unfair it is that they have a curfew. The truth is that the teen years can be a bit of a challenge at times. One day you’re bragging to your co-workers that your teen came home and cleaned the entire kitchen without being asked four times and the next you’re venting to them about how disrespectful he was that morning.
Yes, teens will be teens, but what about those parents that are wondering if they’re teens are using drugs? They may see signs of addiction, yet they have no proof and the teen certainly isn’t offering a confession.
While it is tempting to purchase a drug test and test your teen at home, you may also wonder how that will go over with your teen. Will he feel violated? Angry? Will it sever the relationship? You may also become stressed out thinking that the test will come back positive. How will you react? What will you do? It’s very common to feel this way as a parent, so know that you’re not alone in the way you’re feeling.
Home drug test kits have been around for many years and come in handy for parents who cannot trust that their teens are telling the truth about drug use. While they may not test for every drug out there, they do test for quite a few of them. They’re also quite affordable, with marijuana tests costing only $1 and 12 panel drug test kits for less than $10, testing for drugs such as cocaine, opiates, pain pills, marijuana, and more.
But should you really drug test your teen at home? Is it worth the possible jeopardizing of your relationship?
Today, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of doing so.
Pros of teen drug testing
- You learn the truth. If the test comes back positive for drugs, you get to act. You get to sit down with your teen and have a serious conversation. You may be able to address the situation without it growing into an addiction or something bad happening.
- You get to be actively involved in your teen’s life regarding drug use. You’re not just shrugging it off hoping for the best. You’re being proactive.
- You can let your teen know you’ll be doing random drug testing. This may be enough for your teen to “Just Say No” when peers pressure him at school to try drugs.
- You get to practice open and honest communication with your teen. Don’t let it become a trust issue. Just make it part of life as a teenager.
Cons of teen drug testing
- You may create conflict between you and you’re teen. He may get angry and become resentful, thinking that you don’t trust him. He may stop talking to you and make you out to be the worst parent around. But do keep in mind he may have already done that to you various times when he did not get his way.
- Your teen could begin using drugs that aren’t being screened in the drug test kit you are using.
- There is a very slight chance the test could produce false results, (false positive) which can really cause some upheaval in the home. The teen adamantly stating he’s innocent, but the results stating otherwise. Some cold medications can cause a false-positive, as well as antibiotics. Doing a second drug test is recommended just to be sure.
How should you give a drug test?
You can randomly give a drug test or you can let your teen know when you’ll be giving one. It may seem awkward, but you can do your best to keep it light and non-confrontational. Decide ahead of time what you will do if the test comes back positive or negative. You may want to reward your teen for negative results and of course, have consequences for positive results.
Back in 2007, The American Academy of Pediatrics released a statement that said, “Drug testing poses substantial risks—in particular, the risk of harming the parent-child relationship by creating an environment of resentment, distrust, and suspicion.” However, many counselors disagree. They feel that drug testing may be helpful for teens to resist the peer pressure associate with drugs.
Are you thinking of drug testing your teen? If so, keep these pros and cons in mind before you make that final decision.