Should I drug test my teen to see if they are using drugs?

If you suspect your son or daughter is using drugs regularly, you need to take action, just like you would for any other health emergency.  One available tool is drug testing. There are many different options available at your pharmacy, and you can learn about them easily on the Internet. Be aware, however, that drug tests do not test for all drugs, just specific ones, and some drugs are detectable for longer periods of time than others.

Drug testing also serves as a great excuse for your teen when they feel pressured to use by peers. They can simply say, “My parents drug test me when I come home so I can’t get high.”

Finally, know what you are going to do with the results – have a specific plan if the test comes back positive.  A positive test with no follow-up gives the message that you don’t know what to do or worse, don’t really care about their drug use. Also note that a negative test just means your teen hasn’t used very recently – some drugs stay in urine for just hours, others for days. You may want to talk with a school counselor if you are concerned, or take your teen to be assessed by a treatment professional. Call your local admissions office and schedule a screening or evaluation today.

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