Few will argue that drug abuse has become one of our nations biggest domestic problems. Drugs and the heartbreak that follows have invaded both urban and rural communities across the country, inflicting devastation wherever they appear. Younger and younger children are experimenting with drugs and now, even elementary school age children have been found abusing marijuana, prescription drugs pilfered from their parent’s medicine cabinets and drugs manufactured from over-the-counter concoctions and hawked to them by older students. Half of all seniors in high school admit to having tried drugs and one out of ten admit to using marijuana regularly. Despite their vigilance, many parents find it impossible to tell if their children are dabbling in this dangerous world of drugs or not. Others are only too aware that drugs have invaded their households. In big, gateway cities like Los Angeles, drugs are a particular problem.
With the emerging effectiveness of Drug Testing in the workplace, in sports and in the military, the government took notice of the significant drop in drug use where random Drug Testing was being applied. In 2001, the U.S. Department of Education funded U.S. High schools with a $1.7 million dollar award to put random Drug Testing in high schools across the country. The result? A study done in 2006 shows there has been a 23% drop in high school students using illicit drugs in those schools that participated in random Drug Testing – that means some 840,000 fewer kids on drugs. That’s encouraging news. And it’s hard to dispute those kinds of numbers when searching for tools to fight drug abuse.
In Los Angeles, Drug Testing has become the weapon-of-choice for many parents who fear for their children’s safety. Some parents come to Drug Testing as a last resort when evidence of drug abuse is obvious and treatment is necessary. Others see it as a front line defense. Drug Testing in Los Angeles may be mandated by the Juvenile Court system, done privately through one of many Drug Testing facilities in Los Angeles, or through home Drug Testing kits. Whatever precipitates this step, it is never easily taken. Parents fear their children will feel they don’t trust them. However, as experts discovered in this sampling of Drug Testing high schools across the country, there is another factor at work here.
Peer pressure, when it comes to using or experimenting with drugs, can be every bit as powerful as it is in other areas of our children’s lives. Many children find it difficult to ‘just say no’ when their friends are doing drugs and asking them to join in, even if they want to say no. Even if you believe your child is not doing drugs, but is going to school in a climate of drug abusers, there may be good reason to incorporate random Drug Testing in your household.
Los Angeles tenth grader, Monica Rivers’ parents had been watching their beautiful daughter go from a straight A, soccer-playing charmer to a child they hardly recognized. Monica began spending more and more time alone in her room. She claimed fatigue when it was time to play soccer and eventually dropped off the team she had loved. Her grades began to slip. Parent-teacher meetings revealed little except that Monica seemed to be going through something. Monica’s symptoms seemed like a cry for help. Her parents feared she would balk at Drug Testing and accuse them of not trusting her–which, in fact, happened. But they went to an accredited Los Angeles Drug Testing company, purchased a Drug Testing kit anyway, because they loved their daughter.
It turned out they were right about the drug abuse. She had, she admitted, been experimenting with marijuana and even tried some prescription drugs her friends brought to school. But to her parents’ surprise, she was immensely relieved to be able to stop the experimentation that she’d felt compelled by peer pressure to do. Monica was able to put the blame on her parents’ random Drug Tests to decline the girls who’d been pressuring her. Luckily for Monica, her parents intervened before her drug use got out of control. Today, Monica is playing soccer again and planning for college.
There are several types of Drug Testing available. Accredited drug-testing facilities in Los Angeles can do the testing for you or you can purchase home Drug Testing kits for in-home use. These tests are easy to use. The samples are either taken or sent by mail to the lab and the results mailed back. Drug Testing consists of urine sample, oral fluid samples, sweat testing and hair testing. Drugs normally detected through any one of these samples, such as marijuana, opiates, cocaine, amphetamines and PCP remain in the body for a longer amount of time, than say, alcohol. In Los Angeles, Drug Testing kits cost between $10 and $30. Ironically, parents often find that confessions come from their children on the way to the Drug Testing lab to deliver results, providing a unique opportunity for honest conversations at last between them.
The purpose of random drug testing by parents is not, as most assume, punitive. In Los Angeles, Drug Testing by parents who are concerned for their children’s welfare is an opportunity for communication if it is approached not as a punishment, or accusation, but as a way for our children to cope with the pressures in the world today.