Why Should Parents Use At-Home Drug Test Kits?
As a parent, it’s terrifying to think that your child could be abusing a substance. While teen drug use thankfully seems to be on a decline, your child is still vulnerable. As of 2018, more than 1 in 20 eighth graders have used alcohol, cannabis, or illicit drugs. By the time your child is in 12th grade, more than two-thirds of high schoolers have used alcohol, and 35% of high-schoolers have used cannabis.
Teen drug use isn't something to take lightly, especially if you begin to notice signs of drug abuse in your own child. Early intervention can help prevent the issue from taking over your child’s life and following them into adulthood.
At-home drug testing is the ideal choice to confirm suspected drug use amongst teenagers. Or, if your child has been known to abuse substances before, an at-home drug test can help you determine whether or not they have remained sober. Either way, at-home drug testing provides you with a path to quick and immediate intervention for your child.
Do you suspect that your teen is using drugs?
By the time you begin to notice any symptoms or change in behavior, your child may already be struggling with substance abuse. Often, the signs of substance abuse aren’t apparent at first because addiction is a progressive disease that develops over time.
While your teen might begin with seemingly harmless partying, remember that every addict begins by using casually. If your child is engaging in underage drinking or cannabis use, this could quickly morph into a full-blown addiction.
The most important thing to do if you suspect that your teen is using drugs is to intervene immediately. The early signs of substance abuse in teens include:
- Losing interest in activities they once enjoyed
- Switching friend groups
- Slipping grades or missing school
- Drastic changes in appearance or poor hygiene
- Dilated or bloodshot eyes
- Rapid weight loss or gain
Should I Drug Test My Teen at Home?
Many people assume that professionals must administer drug tests for teens. However, drug testing at home can be an excellent option for early intervention. At-home tests can be administered without the public scrutiny of taking your child to a medical facility, where they feel more comfortable and at ease.
At-home drug testing also doesn’t require a lengthy wait for an appointment. If you suspect that your teen is suffering from substance abuse, they should be drug tested immediately to prevent the issue from spiraling out of control. Drug testing at home is a fast, effective, and inexpensive step to get the answers you need and start helping your child on the road to recovery.
How to Drug Test Your Child at Home
Knowing Which Test You Need
If you’re going to drug test your child, the first thing you need to do is choose the type of drug test you plan to administer. Be aware that at-home drug tests cannot test for every kind of drug. However, they can test for the most commonly abused drugs, including alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, methamphetamine, amphetamines, MDMA, barbiturates, opioids, PCP, and antidepressants.
Experts recommend that concerned parents use a multi-panel drug test, which screens for more than one type of drug. However, there are also single-panel drug tests available that screen for one specific substance.
Different Types of Drug Tests
There are three types of at-home drug tests available to parents: urine, hair, and saliva tests. All three are valid options, allowing you to use your discretion to determine which type of drug test is best for your situation.
Urine Drug Test
This method of testing is the fastest and most commonly used. This test requires the subject to urinate in a cup. Then, you place a test strip in the urine sample. The results of these tests only take a few minutes to appear.
Saliva Drug Test
There are two ways to administer saliva drug tests. One requires directly swabbing the inside of the subject’s mouth, while the other requires the subject to spit into a cup and then have the sample analyzed with a test strip. Note: while these tests are more difficult to tamper with, they can only screen for substance use within the past 24 hours.
Hair Drug Test
Testing your teen’s hair is the most accurate form of at-home drug testing, as these tests are virtually impossible to tamper with. The test requires you to collect a hair sample, complete with the follicle, and then send it to a lab. It can take anywhere from 3 to 5 days for the results to return. By screening the inside of the hair follicle, hair drug testing can detect substance use from as far back as 90 days. However, they can’t detect recent drug use in the past three to five days. As such, these tests are best suited to identify an ongoing and recurring issue with substance abuse.
Timing the Drug Test
Your teen might be young, but they weren’t born yesterday. Do not, under any circumstance, give your child advance notice that you intend to drug test them. With the internet at their fingertips, it’s easy for any savvy teen to figure out how long their preferred substance stays in their system and research ways to dupe the test.
It is also crucial that you do not perform the drug test on any regular schedule. If you drug test your teen every Monday, for example, they could easily prepare for the test by diluting their urine or gargling with hydrogen peroxide. The best thing to do is drug test your child first thing in the morning on randomly chosen days.
Your Best Choice for At-Home Drug Testing: Countrywide Testing
Realizing that your teen could be struggling with a substance abuse disorder is painful, but you have the power to take control of the situation. If you think that your child abuses drugs or alcohol, it’s time to take immediate action, and Countrywide Testing is here to help. We are an online retailer of drug- and alcohol-testing and lab services, with various products, including pregnancy tests, medical supplies, multi-panel drug tests, and more. We work with a SAMHSA, ISO, CLIA, and CAP licensed laboratory, so you can rest easy knowing that a government-trusted facility is processing your samples.
If you’re interested in learning more about our services, contact us today to learn more.
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