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If your teen suddenly becomes moody, is spending time with a different group of friends, or starts failing in schoolyou may wonder if drugs are to blame. Drug tests are not always reliable, and your teen may resent being tested.


D oes anyone still want to do drug tests on their children? She raised her sons in Norway, where she ly lived, after losing her father and then her boyfriend to overdose. We talk openly, and they give me honest answers. Berg describes drug testing as good a way to ruin your relationship with your children. There are plenty more reasons not to drug-test your.

Peter Grinspoona primary care physician at an inner-city clinic in Boston, told Filter. This is human nature. Grinspoon is an interesting example. His father is the famous Dr. Lester Grinspoona psychiatrist who wrote extensively about marijuana.

Grinspoon later developed an opioid addiction, but does not connect this with his earlier marijuana use. And the access—he could write himself prescriptions—made it even easier. Grinspoon, who spent two years as an associate director for the Physician Health Service, part of the Massachusetts Medical Society, working with physicians who suffer from substance use disorders, knows all about how to beat drug tests. This a reality that any drug-testing parent must contend with. Sheila P. Critically, demanding a drug test is a punishment in itself.

Or will you be disappointed? Taking away hobbies, for example, can further isolate and harm the .

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Critically, demanding a drug test — by demonstrating that the parent does not trust the child —is a punishment in itself. These reasons might include self-medication and a lack of alternative coping avenues, like a nonjudgmental adult to confide in. This might include replacing marijuana with K2 or Spice, or other higher-risk synthetic substances.

A good starting-point is to ask yourself, as a parent, about how to have a conversation with your. Conversely, going into their bedroom knocking first, of course and announcing that you want to have a talk about drugs may not be the best approach, notes Vakharia.

Young people often are on their guard against parents.

Is the parent helping them to develop their own decision-making skills? For teens, being treated with age-appropriate respect is particularly important — and this demands that parents adjust. This includes respecting an increased need for privacy, and a recognition that soon enough, a teen will be out of the house, making decisions on their own. Like Vakharia, she recognizes that the idea is appealing to parents because it gives them a sense of control over their fears.

And she sympathizes. Instead of doing a drug test, Goodhart recommends talking to the pediatrician, the school guidance counselor, the coach, the theater teacher—whoever the child works closely with—not about drugsbut about any concerning behaviors.

But as lead spokesperson for the American Academy of Pediatrics on this subject, she still does not believe in home drug testing. Her recommendation: Talk to your. And leave drug testing, if anything, to the professionals. Have that conversation. Levy did say that if what a parent wants is peace of mind, negative tests might be reassuring. So you might ask yourself: Would a drug test be helpful?

Levy also agreed with Goodhart about the danger of drug test obscuring other important factors. Even DuPont, a psychiatrist strongly inclined to support the option of drug testing, cites the importance of trust. To find a truly conservative stance on drug testing, look no further than Dr. Robert L. A frequent national commentator as the drug testing craze took hold in the s, and author of books including Drug Testing in SchoolsDuPont is a highly controversial figure among those who support harm reduction. Yet even DuPont, a psychiatrist strongly inclined to support the option of drug testing, cites the importance of trust.

That discussion includes a shared understanding of the roles of parents and youth and about their family relationships. Honesty and trust are a big part of that conversation. Understandable as parental fears are, acting upon them in ways that undermine trust between parent and child is never likely to help.

Why it’s best to leave drug screening to the professionals

Rather than turning to a test, the urgent priority should be to provide support and open positive lines of communication. Photo by Bram. Alison has written about substance use for more than 30 years. She has also written for many years about medical coding. She also writes for Addiction Treatment Forum. It was brought to our shores five centuries ago Our society—even some of its most progressive elements—vilifies alcohol. This stands in opposition to And their main reason?

Is drug testing kids effective?

So What Can You Do? Alison Knopf. Show Comments. Trending Now. Tessie Castillo September 25, Samrat Chowdhery September 25, Stanton Peele September 25,

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As a parent searching for answers, you may be considering drug testing with the expectation that it will discourage your child from experimenting with drugs, hopefully preventing a world of hurt down the road.


Testing for drugs raises more questions than it answers - makesure you know your stuff before drugs become an issue, writes Louise Holden.


But we do live in a world in which drug tests are becoming more common.


Daron Christopher is an experienced speechwriter, copywriter and communications consultant based in