- Family and Parenting»
How to Test Your Child for Drugs
Is My Child Using Drugs?
This is a very sensitive subject that no parent ever wants to face but not dealing with it could have grave consequences.
As a parent or trusted adult of a child who may be using drugs, it is imperative that you find out exactly what is going on with your child so you may help them in any way possible.
As the adult, your comfort level needs to come secondary to the safety and welfare of the child.
No one wants to believe that their child is using drugs. There is no bigger heartache for a parent or family member. There are so many emotions and thoughts that run through your head and your heart just sinks.
You may ask yourself, How long has this been going on? Did I miss the signs? Where did I go wrong? Is my child’s whole future ruined? What do I do? Have I lost my child forever?
Trust your instincts and intuition. Early intervention is extremely important! If your child is experimenting with drugs it isn’t going to get better by itself. It would be an enormous mistake to waste precious time feeling guilty or being embarrassed.
Don’t Ignore the Signs
There are many signs that point to the possibility of drug use.
If you see these signs in your child it doesn’t mean that they are automatically using drugs.
These are indicators that something is going on that your child is having a really hard time dealing with and it’s time for a caring adult to intervene. Giving the drug test is an easy way to either discover a problem or eliminate drugs as the issue so you are able to explore the other possibilities of what is going on with your child.
Some very important signs that should never be ignored are:
· Drastic weight change. Either gaining or losing weight quickly is a huge red flag
· Uncharacteristically aggressive or violent behavior
· Super passive or depressed behavior
· Lying about who they are with or where they are going
· Skipping school
· New friends whom you haven’t met
· Isolation and lack of interest in things they have always enjoyed
· Changes in hygiene or personal appearance
· Change in appetite
· Changes in skin coloring
The bottom line is, you know your child and you know when something is wrong. If nothing is done to help the child one way or the other, they will get the message that they just aren’t important enough to bother.
What To Do If You Suspect Your Child is Using Drugs
- Check their purse, backpack, or book bag randomly
- Search in their car after they have been out with friends
- Look through their room
- Check with their counselor at school to find out about any recent changes in behavior or grades
- Check their cell phone; text messages and voice mail
- Check your child’s social network accounts
- Read their Journal or Diary
- Give random drug tests
Privacy and trust is an earned part of growing and maturing, not an automatic right given because of someones age.
If there is any chance that your child is in danger it is imperative that their parent or guardian does everything and anything they can to protect and help them. If it makes them angry but saves their life, it’s a very small price to pay.
Where To Find Drug Tests and What to Do
Drug tests can be purchased in a drug store or online and delivered right to your door for about $11 each for the 6 panel tests and about $17 each for the 12 panel tests. There are different options to consider.
The 6 panel test will indicate whether your child has any of the following drugs in their system:
- THC (marijuana)
There is also a 12 panel test that will show if your child has taken any of the following:
- THC (marijuana)
- Oxycodone, Hydrocodone
- Angel Dust
The 12 panel test is the highly recommended because it identifies a larger spectrum of substances. Prescription medications and Ecstasy are among the easiest drugs for child to get right at their school. The 6 panel test won’t be able to detect some of those substances.
These tests are best given the morning or day after you suspect your child could have had access to drugs. Sometimes the results take a few hours to show up and many won’t show up for approximately 12 hours.
Communicate With Your Child
Talk to your child and let him/her know that there isn’t anything you won’t do to keep them safe and help them. Explain why you feel the test is necessary and that if they aren’t using drugs it shouldn’t be a problem.
Make sure you are simply informing your child what is going to happen and why. Do not waste any time trying to convince them it’s a good idea or try to get their approval. It isn’t necessary and they will probably fuel off of your strength if you stay firm and calm.
This is a good opportunity to show your child how a mature adult handles a very serious and scary situation.
What They Can Use to Get a False Positive
It is very important that all parents and loved ones know about the available ways to cheat drug tests.
I guarantee your kids know about them, whether they are using drugs themselves or not.
The market is exploding with different brands of synthetic urine and creative devices to keep it concealed and at the right temperature.
One kit can provide your child with everything they need to pass two drug tests including: laboratory created urine, heating pad, temperature testing strips and an easily concealable pouch to disguise the device.
When used properly, the synthetic urine can be kept at the proper temperature for up to 10 hours and can be kept right in your child’s pant pocket.
It is crucial that you don’t let your child out of your sight after you request a urine sample for the test. If he/she says they can’t go right now and will try again in 30 min, make sure they stay in the same room with you until they do provide the sample.
Random is the key word in random drug test.
What If The Test Comes Out Positive?
If the test comes out positive for drugs it can be a very emotional and scary thing.
Speak to a trusted friend or family member who only has your child’s best interest at heart. There are many resources available to help you decide what the best way to proceed for you and your child. Explore the different drug hotlines and treatment centers in your area.
There are many different types and levels of treatment from counseling, to outpatient treatment, to residential treatment. Most treatment facilities have a drug and alcohol counselor who can help you figure out what the most appropriate action would be for your particular situation. These counselors have extensive experience with adolescents and pre-teens that use drugs. Use their experience to your advantage and allow them to assist in guiding you to help.
Another option may be Alcoholics Anonymous and/or Narcotics Anonymous. The meeting locations are generally spread out and are scheduled at various times to accommodate most schedules.
The only wrong thing you can do in a situation like this is nothing.