Drug testing advocates bemoan the whole "trust" issue as a bunch of nonsense, and state as a matter of fact that all teens will lie to their parents at some time, and that kids using drugs are very likely to lie about that usage. They also point to very high statistics of illicit drug and alcohol use amongst high school students in the country as a justification for the intrusive testing.

Advocates say that the tests offer a number of benefits to parents, and possibly the greatest benefit is one of deterrence. They recommend that teens be informed of an impending test 30 days before the test is to be issued (long enough for drug metabolites to fall below the detectable levels) and after that to perform the tests on a monthly basis. Performing monthly tests as standard practice gives kids a great reason to decline when drugs are offered, and may help to lessen the influence of peer pressure towards drug use.

Another big positive is early detection of a substance abuse problem. Kids using drugs or alcohol are not only likely to lie to their parents about use and extent of use, they are also just as likely to be self denying the existence of a problem (just as all addict use self denial). Parents with accurate and conclusive evidence of drug or alcohol use can take action appropriate to the severity of use, and since the odds of successful intervention or treatment decline the longer the abuse is allowed to continue, parents with an early awareness of use can be in a great position to help teens overcome some very tough situations and dependencies.

Advocates also say that drug testing allows innocent teens a means to prove their good behaviors, and allows parents the concrete evidence they need to reward kids who do stay drug and alcohol free, despite the inevitable temptations and peer pressure to use.

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Page last updated Nov 08, 2010

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