Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Is Drug Testing Teenagers a Bad Idea?

The American Academy of Pediatrics released a policy statement yesterday saying that drug testing teenagers at home or at school is generally a bad idea.

I agree.

However, if you look the AAP’s concerns closely, it wasn't so much the idea of drug testing teens that was the problem. It's the urine tests schools and parents use to conduct the testing that's the problem. The AAP pointed to problems with false positives and false negatives, teens using the web to get information on how to beat the urine tests, and a short window of detection (most drugs only stay in the system for just a few days after use).

I first read the report when a friend of mine e-mailed me a link to a story about it saying "this probably isn't good for your business." Actually, I think it's GREAT for our business.

That’s because most of the concerns the AAP raises about drug testing teenagers are eliminated by using DrugWipe.

False positives and false negatives? Not an issue a DrugWipe.

Teenagers beating the drug tests? Not with DrugWipe. Parents use DrugWipe to swipe down surfaces their kids have touched when the kids aren't even around. There’s no room for any adulteration or substitution.

Short detection window? DrugWipe can detect drug residue on surfaces up to three months after use.

Another main issue that the AAP brings up is that drug testing can create a climate of “resentment, distrust, and suspicion” between a parent (or school) and a teenager.

There may be some truth to that, but isn’t that about par for the course when it comes to teenagers? Eventually, they’ll get over it.

That type of argument reminds me of something I’ve heard from a number of drug treatment specialists. They say “if you ask parents whose teenagers have battled drug addictions, they all wished they had intervened sooner, rather than later or not at all.” When it comes to drug use, there's simply too much at stake to worry about offending your teen.

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