The use of illicit drug among teens has reached a point where it is no longer something to be taken lightly. Now more than ever, the decision to drug test your teenager has become extremely essential. In this article, we will look into the troubling scenario of teen drug use, and some reasons why you need to drug test your teenager.
A Look Into Teen Drug Use
A lot of lives have been taken away because of the rampant trading at the black market. Twenty years ago, most cases involving illegal drug use were among young adults. However, in recent years, teenagers have become the target of drug dealers and manufacturers.
Teens are naturally curious, and a lot of adolescents want to explore things while they’re young. Unfortunately, some people take advantage of the vulnerabilities of the youth by selling them illegal drugs, which has become a major concern of families and the community in general.
Causes of Drug Addiction
Parents may not be aware that most of the children who get into drugs have problems at home. If these issues are not properly addressed, some kids seek refuge from fellow teens.
Unfortunately, not all of the people around them really care what their issues are. Instead of providing solutions to their problems, what these people would offer would be drugs or alcohol. This could be the spark for your kids to start engaging in drug addiction.
Other causes of drug addiction include boredom, curiosity, ignorance, rebellion, and a mere search for fun.
Why Should You Drug Test Your Teenager?
Before you drug test your teenager, help them understand that everything you do for them is because of your love as a parent. Use the blanket of care and concern to make your children secure as they agree to undergo drug testing.
Here are some of the important reasons why you need to drug test your teenager:
1. Behavioral changes
Notice any change in behavior of your son or daughter? Each child has his own personality that parents should be aware of. Any sudden change in behavior should concern a parent, but not to immediately imply that the child is into drugs.
Try to observe further and talk to your children to confirm if there is something that they want to talk about. If you strongly feel that they are taking drugs, then slowly introduce the idea of conducting a drug test to validate all the signs and symptoms of drug addiction.
2. Safety of your children
When your teenager readily submits to drug testing, it is easier for your teen to refuse anyone who would taunt him/her into taking drugs. Peer pressure has a strong influence over teenagers who want to feel that they belong to a group. To say “no” may result to getting ridiculed by peers.
Letting their friends know that your kids need to undergo drug testing will increase the likelihood that your teenage children will steer clear of illegal drugs.
3. Peace of mind (for you and your kids)
A court-mandated drug test may not always give the correct result, and will result to stigma for you and your children. To validate any positive result, a home drug test may be done to give you peace of mind. If the home drug testing produces a positive result, then immediate intervention should be done.
There are a lot of home drug test kits in the market that you can choose from. Some of these testing methods include shipping to the laboratory for ease in handling the sample. Meanwhile, some drug screening kits may be bought over the counter, and are priced significantly less than they used to be.
The Right Approach to Drug Test Your Teenager
Some parents are wondering why their kids are hooked on drugs despite their seemingly good image. The truth is that no matter how good the relationship between parents and their children are, some teenagers are still susceptible to being swayed into using illegal drugs.
Because of this alarming reality, many parents are undecided on whether to have their teenagers undergo drug testing or not. They fear that despite their good intentions, their teen children may see it differently, and imposing such testing may jeopardize their relationship. Some parents are afraid that their children may lose trust in them.
If you are a parent, carefully explain to your teenager the importance of having to go through drug testing. This will help ease your mind and to ensure that your teenager is safe from these illegal drugs.
The very first thing that you need to establish as a parent is to build a good relationship with your children. The way you raise them up will definitely have a strong impact on how they would behave when they grow up. Despite how busy you can be with so many things, you should always make time for your family, especially for your children.
Here are some more tips in preparing to drug test your teenager without letting him/her feel the pressure:
- Your teenager should be willing to take the drug test. Forcing your teen to take any kind of drug test may ruin your good relationship and may lead to more serious situations.
- Let your teens know about the dangerous implications of using illegal drugs. You must let your child understand how much it could affect everyone’s life if he chooses to take drugs.
- Once your teen agrees to the drug testing, make sure that you properly record all the test results so that you can understand your teen’s behavior and drug use pattern.
- If the test turns positive, it is important that you get him the help that he needs There are many rehabilitation centers that can help your child overcome his drug addiction.
Teen Drug Use Statistics
It is surprising how times have changed the way these teenagers value their lives. A lot of them seem to be more fearless in doing stuff, and are more focused on spending time with friends rather than getting serious with their studies.
Drugs and alcohol have penetrated the lives of these children at such an early age. Unfortunately, we could not blame them for getting hooked on illegal substances because they are exposed to these drugs every day – from their own parents, from their favorite actors and artists, and from the glorification of drugs on social media. Too much exposure to drugs will entice these kids to try and later on get hooked on them.
Here are some of the recent findings related to drug use by teenagers:
- Statistics showed that there are more teens dying from prescription drugs than cocaine or heroin.
- About 60 percent of high school seniors don’t think that regular marijuana use is harmful.
- More than 35 percent of 12th graders have used marijuana in the past year.
- About 6 percent of 12th graders are regular marijuana users.
- 12th graders who are using marijuana are 65 percent more likely to crash their vehicles.
- Some of the drugs taken by 12th graders include amphetamine, opioid painkillers, synthetic marijuana, tranquilizers, cough medicine, hallucinogens, LSD, ecstasy, cocaine, sedatives and inhalants.
Drug Addiction Signs and Symptoms
Are you anxious to know if your teenager is involved with using illegal drugs? Remember that forcing your child to undergo drug testing would strain your relationship with them.
It is probably best to know the signs and symptoms of drug addiction, rather than have your child undergo drug testing based merely on suspicion. Here are some of the telltale signs of teen drug addiction:
- Bloodshot eyes
- Abrupt weight changes
- Dilated or constricted pupils
- Bruises or infections (which may have been caused by an injectable drug)
- Change in behavior
- Increased aggression or irritability
- Poor decision making
- Almost always sleeping or widely awake
What Should You Do If Your Teen Tests Positive?
Any wrong decision that a child makes may be a reflection of how his life is, and this can be a great burden on the parents. If you happen to find out that your child is positive for drug use, varying levels of emotion would probably be racing inside you – fear, anger and worry, at the very least.
The relationship between parent and child can be a major factor for young kids to get hooked on illegal substances. This is the reason why parents are encouraged to spend quality time with the whole family so that they would know what is going on with the lives of their children.
Here are some steps to do, in case you find out that your teenager is taking drugs:
1. Never create an aggressive environment.
Instead of helping your child speak up about what caused him to use drugs, aggression would lead him/her to become more distant. This may actually worsen the drug addiction situation.
Talk to your child in a non-confrontational manner. You need to let him/her know that you are concerned about his/her health and well-being.
Never show your child your anger because it could heighten his emotions that could make him more distant. Try to win back his trust.
2. Always let your child feel that you love them no matter what.
You may be mad at the drug use, but make it clear that you are not angry with your child. Insist on having a heart-to-heart talk so that your child will feel that you are giving importance to him/her.
A teen’s life is a very complicated stage wherein they are asked to think and behave older despite their young age. This can be confusing to them. This is the reason why families should always take time to be together.
3. Ask your child what is bothering him that led him to drugs.
Before you go all out and drug test your teenager, listen intently and provide potential solutions to the problem, if the need arises. Then, let him understand that despite what he is going through, the family remains to be by his side.
4. Gently remind him about the dangers of drug use.
Let your child know the consequence of using drugs and how it can affect his life. Part of the healing process is for your teenager to undergo rehabilitation, which he/she should understand. Explain how long it would take to completely recover. With his/her cooperation, the treatment can be shorter.
5. Introduce the idea of follow-up drug testing.
Let your child know that he/she would still need to undergo random drug testing after the treatment. This will ensure that he/she has completely turned away from drugs. Follow-up drug testing is important to help your teenager get back to his normal life by strongly refusing to get back on the old habit and to lead a life that any normal teenager should have.
When you decide to drug test your teenager, reassure him/her of emotional security and the love of family.