The short answer to this question is yes—of course you can drug test your teenager. In many situations, it can help keep your life at home safe, and can stop problems from eventually getting out of control. While this is recommended if the teenager is still living at home, there are some things you’ll need to know before conducting the test.
Can I drug test my teenager?
First of all, when planning to drug test a teenager, make sure there is a good reason to do so. Teens will need to understand the reason behind the testing—and this reason given must be the truth. Ideally, the teen will have already gone through treatment for a drug problem and be on their path to recovery. This way, the explanation will be easy to understand and straight-forward: making sure they have discontinued the drug use and are committed to staying clean.
Drug testing when the teen does not have an established drug problem can be a little risky. If the drug use is simply suspected, but not proven, it may be difficult for the teenager to understand why they are being tested. In addition, it may cause some trust issues to occur between them and the parent. During adolescence, relationships between teens and parents can already be on the edge just due to normal life. In the event the teen does not have a drug problem, they may feel hurt by their parent suggesting that’s true. In worst cases, this can cause a rebellion in an otherwise well-behaved kid. However, if there is just cause to believe the teen has been using drugs or alcohol, be sure to communicate the reason why the drug test is happening in a clear way.
Once the drug test has been decided on, there is another step to take: deciding whether to have the test done in a lab or drug collection center or conducting it at home, and there are pros and cons to both.
Pros of home testing include it being much less expensive than going to a collection center. They are easy to use, and many give instant results for a combination of drugs. These can be done by testing either urine or saliva, saliva being the easier—and foolproof—method to conduct, because it’s more difficult to cheat. Cons include the tests may not be as sensitive as those in a lab.
The more expensive of the options, pros of testing in a lab include that everything is done by professionals. There is virtually no way to cheat on this type of test, and they tend to be more sensitive than home testing kits, thus less room for error.
When suspecting a teen is abusing drugs or alcohol, it can’t hurt to reach out for help. Treatment Now is available to answer any questions regarding addiction and recovery, so call today at 844-438-8689.