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Parents able to buy home drug testing kits

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/14913382/

This is a great thing IMO! We need more easy ways to help our kids stay drug free. I think a LOT of parents would be shocked to know what illegal substances their teens use!
post #2 of 30
I have a slight problem with at home drug testing kits, because they are far from accurate! Let me give you a scenario, your kid goes out to a coffee shop and has some tea bread with some poppy seeds in it, and then you drug test them when he or she comes home. The drug test will come up positive for opiates. Also if your child eats a hemp seed muffin (I've made these), he or she can come up positive for marijuana. I realize that this may be a small percentage, but it still worries me that a child can wind up in trouble for not doing anything wrong.
post #3 of 30
My dad used to be a probation/parole officer and is very knowledgable about drug testing. The in-office tests they use are similar to the ones OTC, but somewhat more accurate (fewer ppm will still yield positive result.) He said that in order for a poppy seed muffin to cause a positive drug test, you have to eat about 200 within 4 hours of taking the test. Poppy seeds are just one of the many excuses people had to explain away their positive results.
post #4 of 30
Out of curiosity, how would each of you have felt growing up if your parents had told you (or not told you and you found out) that they were going to give you a drug test? Personally, I'm not sure. Part of me says I wouldn't have minded, because I never did drugs, but of course part of me would have been very offended that they didn't trust me to tell them the truth. I think there are benefits and drawbacks to this...the threat would be enough to make a lot of kids never even experiment with drugs, but I worry about the parent/child trust. Then again, I guess if its presented well, there wouldn't be a problem.
post #5 of 30
Thread Starter 
If I suddenly started acting stangely then a drug test would be fine with me. If you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to worry about.
post #6 of 30
I think that at-home drug tests are fine if the parent has a good reason to suspect drug activity. If they have no reason to suspect anything, then they shouldn't be doing it.
post #7 of 30
Maybe my relationship with my parents was more trusting and open than most, because I find this idea appalling and offensive, and I most certainly would have been deeply offended if my parents had forced me to take a drug test. In all honesty, I think it would have seriously damaged our relationship to know that they didn't trust me enough to believe me when I said "No, I don't take drugs."

I realize not everyone has that kind of relationship with their parents, and there are obviously a lot of kids out there who desperately need guidance, but I feel that at-home drug tests are just a sign of already-strained relationships and they're certainly not going to make things any better between parents and their children. I'm also afraid that, in a lot of cases, the kids who are most clearly at risk aren't going to have the kind of parents who'd purchase at-home drugs tests anyway, and for those kids who aren't on drugs but whose parents are non-communicative and controlling, well, it's just another way to control them, isn't it?

Besides, what possible good can it do? You destroy your child's faith in you by demonstrating that you don't trust them, and if it turns out that they are on drugs, so what? What are you going to do about it? Home school them? Put them in rehab? Give them a stern talking-to? I'm not saying that it's hopeless; I'm saying that before you give them that test, you had better come up with how you're going to handle the results. Worse to my mind, if it turns out your child isn't on drugs, congratulations -- you've just destroyed your relationship for nothing. Give yourself a pat on the back. Even as a non-drug-using teenager who was close to her parents, I would never have forgiven them for that kind of betrayal.
post #8 of 30
I absolutely agree. Well put.
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirinae View Post
Maybe my relationship with my parents was more trusting and open than most, because I find this idea appalling and offensive, and I most certainly would have been deeply offended if my parents had forced me to take a drug test. In all honesty, I think it would have seriously damaged our relationship to know that they didn't trust me enough to believe me when I said "No, I don't take drugs."

I realize not everyone has that kind of relationship with their parents, and there are obviously a lot of kids out there who desperately need guidance, but I feel that at-home drug tests are just a sign of already-strained relationships and they're certainly not going to make things any better between parents and their children. I'm also afraid that, in a lot of cases, the kids who are most clearly at risk aren't going to have the kind of parents who'd purchase at-home drugs tests anyway, and for those kids who aren't on drugs but whose parents are non-communicative and controlling, well, it's just another way to control them, isn't it?

Besides, what possible good can it do? You destroy your child's faith in you by demonstrating that you don't trust them, and if it turns out that they are on drugs, so what? What are you going to do about it? Home school them? Put them in rehab? Give them a stern talking-to? I'm not saying that it's hopeless; I'm saying that before you give them that test, you had better come up with how you're going to handle the results. Worse to my mind, if it turns out your child isn't on drugs, congratulations -- you've just destroyed your relationship for nothing. Give yourself a pat on the back. Even as a non-drug-using teenager who was close to her parents, I would never have forgiven them for that kind of betrayal.
Very well put I agree 100%

In addition, I have to wonder if these in-home drug tests make things a little too convienent for parents. Is this going to give parents the ability to pay less attention to the actions of their teenagers because they have the ability to do their own drug test? I guess I am trying to say, will there be a problem with parents adopting the mentality of 'my kid is out partying all night, but it's ok because they aren't using drugs and I can test him/her to prove it'.
post #10 of 30
Thread Starter 
I think the point of the article is that the option is there. If your kid is acting strange all of the sudden then maybe drugs are a cause. After all other things are ruled out (depreesion, anxiety, ADD, etc.) then perhaps a drug test might be what you are looking for. Its not meant to be an easy out fro parents to have to do less parenting.
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phenomsmom View Post
I think the point of the article is that the option is there. If your kid is acting strange all of the sudden then maybe drugs are a cause. After all other things are ruled out (depreesion, anxiety, ADD, etc.) then perhaps a drug test might be what you are looking for.
Fair enough, but my point is, if my parents had given me a drug-test instead of just asking "Are you on drugs?" I would have been deeply offended, and I'm not sure even our healthy relationship would have recovered from that. (Although, realistically, I think forcing your kid to take a drug-test is a pretty clear sign of an unhealthy relationship, IMO.)
post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirinae View Post
Fair enough, but my point is, if my parents had given me a drug-test instead of just asking "Are you on drugs?" I would have been deeply offended, and I'm not sure even our healthy relationship would have recovered from that. (Although, realistically, I think forcing your kid to take a drug-test is a pretty clear sign of an unhealthy relationship, IMO.)
Exactly... Just ask if your relationship is so strained that you need a at home drug test you messed up as a parent big time... I would have lost all faith if my parents had done that to me ....
post #13 of 30
I think having the possibility is good - like Phenomsmom said. If you can't figure out anything else that's wrong, as a last ditch effort. I just hope that parents think before using it, you know?
post #14 of 30
Is it still wrong if they know the child has been on drugs? If they caught the child smoking dope or worse already?

I agree with most of you that just making a kid take the test just for the sheer joy of doing it would be rediculous, and could harm a lot of relationships in the process. But I think having the possibility and access to it isn't necessarily a bad thing. If a kid is already in trouble, but not yet in the legal system to have a parole officer testing him/her, then maybe this kind of backup is what the parents need to keep tabs on their kid.
post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandtigress View Post
I think having the possibility is good - like Phenomsmom said. If you can't figure out anything else that's wrong, as a last ditch effort. I just hope that parents think before using it, you know?
I agree with that. Some parents will use it as a last resort, and some won't, but that goes with all things.
post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingglass View Post
I have a slight problem with at home drug testing kits, because they are far from accurate! Let me give you a scenario, your kid goes out to a coffee shop and has some tea bread with some poppy seeds in it, and then you drug test them when he or she comes home. The drug test will come up positive for opiates. Also if your child eats a hemp seed muffin (I've made these), he or she can come up positive for marijuana. I realize that this may be a small percentage, but it still worries me that a child can wind up in trouble for not doing anything wrong.
American poppy seeds are much LESS potent that pacific-variety poppy seeds. Poppies contain morphine- therefore the poppy seeds also contain morphine. So while someone who per say eats a poppy seed muffin will have trace amounts of morphine in their system it would take a decient amount of poppy seeds to ingest before they will register a false positive on a drug test. Some othe factors also weigh in such as gender, body weight, metabolism, the rate your stomach empties......

A medical review officer will not call a test positive unless there are clinical symptoms of use which can be difficult to prove. If the quantitation of morphine in urine is less than 2,000 ng/ml then poppy seeds are a likely explanation. Most of the US DOT's and all federal testing uses a 2000 ng/mL cutoff for this very reason. Although the possibility is unlikely, there have been cases of poppy seeds causing positives as high as 5000 ng/ml. If the morphine quantitation is greater than 2000 ng/ml, then another test, 6 monoacetlymorphine (6 MAM), is automatically performed on federal workplace samples. Monoacetylmorphine is a specific heroin metabolite and is proof of heroin use. Morphine is also found in the prescription drug Codine.
post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarryEyedTiGeR View Post
American poppy seeds are much LESS potent that pacific-variety poppy seeds. Poppies contain morphine- therefore the poppy seeds also contain morphine. So while someone who per say eats a poppy seed muffin will have trace amounts of morphine in their system it would take a decient amount of poppy seeds to ingest before they will register a false positive on a drug test. Some othe factors also weigh in such as gender, body weight, metabolism, the rate your stomach empties......

A medical review officer will not call a test positive unless there are clinical symptoms of use which can be difficult to prove. If the quantitation of morphine in urine is less than 2,000 ng/ml then poppy seeds are a likely explanation. Most of the US DOT's and all federal testing uses a 2000 ng/mL cutoff for this very reason. Although the possibility is unlikely, there have been cases of poppy seeds causing positives as high as 5000 ng/ml. If the morphine quantitation is greater than 2000 ng/ml, then another test, 6 monoacetlymorphine (6 MAM), is automatically performed on federal workplace samples. Monoacetylmorphine is a specific heroin metabolite and is proof of heroin use. Morphine is also found in the prescription drug Codine.
Here in the hospital if we are looking for drugs we look for drugs of abuse. which like you said is looking for high amounts or abused amounts.

My advice to both parents and kids. Learn your kids. respect your parents! Your kids should be your number one job. if they are doing drugs and you feel so compelled to test them... your not getting your raise this year! I understand kids wanna try drugs and fit in, a lot of us have been there, but your teens is also a time when your mentally and physically going through many changes, parents shouldn't always jump to conclusions. My mom asked me before if i was on drugs, alot of parents do. Now i never did them in her home nor did I ever come home geeked outta my mind. I respected her and the home she built (outta love and a whole lot of cleaning lol). Kids....be smart! Parents, try talking to you kids and being understanding. It does work.
post #18 of 30
Those tests don't necessarily have to be used by parents testing kids. Spouses can test each other.

I think spouses should be able to test each other if the other suspects anything. I personally have suspected someone in my life of doing drugs (not my hubby, of course).


I know when I converted to Christianity (1998) My family was so convinced that the only way someone could believe in that nonsense was if he/she was on drugs. They made me listen to a drug prevent program on radio for an hour everyday and installed a 6 PM curfeew. It simply infuriated me.
post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb View Post
Is it still wrong if they know the child has been on drugs? If they caught the child smoking dope or worse already?

I agree with most of you that just making a kid take the test just for the sheer joy of doing it would be rediculous, and could harm a lot of relationships in the process. But I think having the possibility and access to it isn't necessarily a bad thing. If a kid is already in trouble, but not yet in the legal system to have a parole officer testing him/her, then maybe this kind of backup is what the parents need to keep tabs on their kid.
I didn't like the idea of parents just springing it on their kids, but in some situations, such as this, I do believe it could be a good thing. If the child is known to have a drug problem, then I feel that the trust issue is pretty much out the window. I feel that it is then the parent's right, and responsibility, to do what they can to help their child get back on to the right track. If making drug tests available to them helps, then I am all for it... in that situation.
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarryEyedTiGeR View Post
American poppy seeds are much LESS potent that pacific-variety poppy seeds. Poppies contain morphine- therefore the poppy seeds also contain morphine. So while someone who per say eats a poppy seed muffin will have trace amounts of morphine in their system it would take a decient amount of poppy seeds to ingest before they will register a false positive on a drug test. Some othe factors also weigh in such as gender, body weight, metabolism, the rate your stomach empties......

A medical review officer will not call a test positive unless there are clinical symptoms of use which can be difficult to prove. If the quantitation of morphine in urine is less than 2,000 ng/ml then poppy seeds are a likely explanation. Most of the US DOT's and all federal testing uses a 2000 ng/mL cutoff for this very reason. Although the possibility is unlikely, there have been cases of poppy seeds causing positives as high as 5000 ng/ml. If the morphine quantitation is greater than 2000 ng/ml, then another test, 6 monoacetlymorphine (6 MAM), is automatically performed on federal workplace samples. Monoacetylmorphine is a specific heroin metabolite and is proof of heroin use. Morphine is also found in the prescription drug Codine.
Nine times out of ten the test wouldn't go through a medical review though. The test would come up positive, and the parents would blame the child. That is my main problem.

To me, this is all about knowing your kid. If you have to go to Walgreens and buy an at home drug testing kit there has been a HUGE communication breakdown.
post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by lookingglass View Post

To me, this is all about knowing your kid. If you have to go to Walgreens and buy an at home drug testing kit there has been a HUGE communication breakdown.

I definitely agree with you on that one! Communication is key to having an open, honest, and good relationship between parents and children. Very good point!!!
post #22 of 30
i eat poppy seed bagles ever morning and have never tested postive for drugs,
you would have to EAT A TON of them for it to show up.

how testing your kids once a week would be a bad thing, But for a family that is maybe worried about it, then i see nothing wrong with home test kit.
post #23 of 30
Sometimes, though, the communication breakdown isn't just the parent's fault- sometimes it is the child/teenagers fault, and the parent may suspect drugs are behind the problem. If used right, I don't see a problem with coming to a child who has had a very noticable behavior/attitude change, armed with "proof", and with a doctor's appointment scheduled for an immediate, "real" test if the child still protests his/her innocence after a positive test. And then, either way, positive or negative test results, they all need councilling. I think most parents would turn to this test because, in some measure, the parent's trust has been sorely tested, if not downright broken, by their kid already.
post #24 of 30
Let me clarify my position on the whole poppy seed thing. People have tested positve on drug tests due to eating them: http://www.snopes.com/medical/drugs/poppyseed.asp
Also check out the episode of MythBusters where both hosts test positive as well after eating a moderate amount of poppy seeds. I swear I am not just buying into this fase positive thing as an urban ledged. Also, I realize that this may be a small percentage of kids that can trip a false positive due to this one odd scenario.

At home drug testing may not be a good thing, it takes something that should be done at a lab, and gives it to a parent to administer. Most of the parents that are going to give the kids these tests have no basic knowledge of chemistry or how drugs enter or leave a body. My opinion is that if a parent really wants to drug test their child, they should go to a doctor.
post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by shengmei View Post
Those tests don't necessarily have to be used by parents testing kids. Spouses can test each other.

I think spouses should be able to test each other if the other suspects anything.
Wow. I actually find this even more offensive than the idea of someone testing their kids. At least parents have authority over their children; my partner most certainly does not! He's my partner, my equal; he has no authority over me, and he does not own me, nor do I own him. I would consider this a form of abuse, and it would be something I would be willing to end a relationship over. Once again, it comes down to this: why don't you just ask? If your relationship with your partner is so lacking in communication that you can't even ask the person you supposedly love if they're using drugs or not, I think drugs aren't the only problem.

Yes, I understand that drug-users can lie and that many of them are very, very good at concealing their addiction. Been there, done that -- I've participated in enough interventions, I've seen enough close friends fall by the wayside because of drugs and alcohol, I'm not naive or blind to the perils of drug use. I just think there are other avenues of support available to the general public besides purchasing OTC drug tests and demanding that our loved ones use them.

IMO, I think the only people who have any business testing for drugs are the police and their associates (including parole officers). I don't believe my employers have any right to test me for drugs, I don't believe my parents have any right to test me for drugs, and I most certainly do not believe my boyfriend has any right to test me for drugs. Period.

And no, I'm not hiding anything from anyone. All this is from a drug-free teetotaler. I do feel very passionately about this, but I'm coming from a liberal, "all about civil liberties" kind of viewpoint. For anyone interested in hearing about the war on drugs from viewpoints similar to my own (right down to the drug-free teetotaler bit), check out Penn and Teller's Showtime television series "Bull****!" (I believe the episode "War on Drugs" comes from Season Two, but the entire series is worth a look.)
post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirinae View Post
IMO, I think the only people who have any business testing for drugs are the police and their associates (including parole officers). I don't believe my employers have any right to test me for drugs, I don't believe my parents have any right to test me for drugs, and I most certainly do not believe my boyfriend has any right to test me for drugs. Period.

.)
Drug free-teatotaller here, too- but I do have to disagree with the part about employers not being able to drug test. In my husband's business, if someone comes in high on drugs or drunk, or even really sleepy, there is a good chance that someone will get hurt or get killed. It's dangerous enough for sober, well rested people . And big rig drivers? That affects everyone on the road. Any jobs like that need random drug testing, at the very least.

And no, I don't believe an adult who doesn't have legal authority over the other adult (those mentioned above, and doctors) has the right to test another adult without their permission. Two adults is MUCH different than an adult and their child.
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by catsallover View Post
Drug free-teatotaller here, too- but I do have to disagree with the part about employers not being able to drug test. In my husband's business, if someone comes in high on drugs or drunk, or even really sleepy, there is a good chance that someone will get hurt or get killed. It's dangerous enough for sober, well rested people . And big rig drivers? That affects everyone on the road. Any jobs like that need random drug testing, at the very least.
Good point, and one I hadn't thought of ... silly me! I can understand it and support it in jobs that are already expected to be held to a higher standard and/or are in a position to cause serious bodily harm (or possibly even death) if operating in an impaired state (e.g. police officers, who are held to a higher standard; EMTs, who are both held to a higher standard and could cause serious harm through negligance; or big rig drivers, as you suggested). But jobs like mine, where I sit at a computer all day and mash keys? Ummm, no. If my behaviour indicates that I'm on drugs, or I'm clearly incapable of doing my duties and have shown consistent derelection (sp?) of duty, by all means fire my , but don't give me a random drug test just because you think you can get away with it. I don't believe one private citizen should have that kind of control over another.
post #28 of 30
I think there are situations where it is completely warranted. TAke the caes of my sister that I mentioned in the drug thread. The first time she got busted, she quit for a time, then started smoking again, and lying about it. She got caught again and went to rehab. When she got out, I told her that if I ever suspected she were on drugs again, I would get a test kit and she'd have to take the test before she was allowed in my home again. The reason being that she'd fooled me once and I wasn't about to be fooled twice. She told me that she had no problem with that and was aware that she had broken a lot of trust. You gotta do what you gotta do to earn that trust back.
I wouldn't have been upset if my parents had asked me to take a drug test. While I wasn't doing any drugs (never have), I kept company with people who did. And I developed an attitude, stayed out late, lied about where I was going and what I was doing, etc. If my mom had thought I was on drugs and asked, she would have had every right to think I was lying because I was showing all the signs they tell you to look for. Probably even smelled like pot when I came home sometimes. I would have known I had nothing to hide, but also would have known they had every right to suspect something.
As far as poppy seeds go, YUCK! Not something I ever had to worry about, those are nasty!

And big rig drivers are frequently tested. I think Hubby gets pulled for a random about once every 3 months. Drug use is not tolerated in the trucking industry.
post #29 of 30
I agree with Mirinae, if my parents had wanted to test me for drugs I would have been However I suspect my opinion towards it is due to my parents relaxed attitude towards drugs, they have asked me before if I had taken any (I haven't) but they would have been fine if I had, both of them having taken drugs in the past (almost solely cannabis).
Having said that, if there was a kit for parents to be able to tell if their kids had had sex I would probably have been forced to undergo it once a week Not the most trusting mother, so I can understand where the desire to be able to know comes from.
Another problem is that at my 6th form ALOT (at least 200 out of 700ish) of people have taken/take drugs, making it less of the few wayward and troubled kids, and more the large number of teens who enjoy taking recreational drugs. Most of them have parents who know and are ok with it.
Its fine to test for jobs where being intoxicated or on drugs could endanger your life or the lives of others.
If my partner ever wanted to test me for drugs I would leave him, I wouldn't be able to get over the lack of trust.
post #30 of 30
I would imagine the kit comes with a little more instruction beyond "One line- clean -- two lines- drugged." I would hope that it would also contain a warning that eating poppy seeds increases the possibility of a false positive, and if positive results are obtained that they should have another test done by a doctor. Seems like it would be standard.

If my husband wanted me to take a drug test, I know that he'd have some basis in that. Money not accounted for, changes in my behavior, etc. He's dealt with people who have drug and alcohol problems his whole life, and I know that if I for some reason started using drugs, he'd want to find out for sure and do what he could to help me stop before it became a problem and ruined our relationship. He wouldn't just be driving home and think "Gee, I think I'll make her take a drug test..." It would come from somewhere. If he approached me with the idea, I'd first ask him why, and expect to hear some reasons. "Just curious" isn't a good one!

That all said, I think that if anyone wants another person to take a drug test, they should be willing to take the same test. As the saying goes, you need to sweep off your own porch before you talk about somebody else's.
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