Like it or not, the drug subculture is now part of the mainstream.
Despite the government's war on drugs, access to illicit drugs is relatively easy for anyone that wants them.
A cursory glance at the headlines or television will tell you that drugs have invaded all parts of our society.
The housewife, the professional athlete, and the elected official have all succumbed to the temptation of illicit drugs. Even scarier is the dramatic rise in drug use among children as young as 10 and 11 years old.
Parents are right to worry about their children and the influence the drug culture has over them; however, the dilemma is trust versus safety.
If parents become heavy-handed in their approach to dealing with the problem, they risk losing the trust of their child and will have to deal with the ensuing emotional backlash. To take a laissez-faire approach could bring disaster as well. Many teens admit that they would use drugs more often if it weren't for the threat of regular drug testing at home.
It's common today for parents to use technology to monitor their children. There are computer programs to tell you what your child is doing on the Internet, and GPS devices installed in the family car will tell you exactly where the car's been driven and how fast.
While drug testing your child at home should not be a first resort, it is a valuable weapon to have in your arsenal against drug abuse. Secretly some teens are happy about drug testing at home because it gives them a valid reason to say no to their friends. Before you proceed with your own drug testing program, there are a few things you should consider:
A conversation should precede any action on the parents' part.
Drug testing should only be done for cause. If your child is functioning and doing well in school, there is no reason to test.
If you want to test your child for drugs, without them knowing, see our article Test to Combat Illicit Drug Abuse by Teenagers
Have a plan of action for the test results-negative or positive.
If you have found drug paraphernalia or your child has used drugs in the past, a drug test may be a reasonable option. There are many FDA-approved test kits that test for multiple drugs. As a parent, the final decision and responsibility rests with you.