09-07-2008: KING 5 Seattle
New kits allows parents to detect kids’ drug use
05:59 PM PDT on Wednesday, July 9, 2008
By KING5.com Staff
New kit allows parents to detect kids’ drug use
SEATTLE – A new at-home drug test now on the market could be the ultimate weapon in keeping kids clean.
Its makers say it is far more sensitive than previous tests, and you can even use it without your child’s knowledge.
HairConfirm uses a simple strand of hair instead of the usual urine sample. At a cost of $65 to $90, the hair is sent to a lab to test for 12 different kinds of drugs including OxyContin, cocaine, ecstasy, meth and marijuana.
The test also determines how heavy and frequent the drug use is. It can produce results within 48 hours.
To Carrie Lamarr it’s a good weapon to have in a parent’s arsenal.
“Having teenagers who want privileges, driving permits for example, it’s a good thing to be able to say ‘if you want this and we think you’re doing drugs’ then drug testing is something you could use as a deterrent,” she said.
But experts caution parents against creating trust issues by running a test without their children’s knowledge.
Threatening teens with the test could send mixed messages and create a game of cat and mouse.
Dr. Linda Young says parents should create a trusting environment where kids can openly talk about drug issues, but if trust is broken and parents do decide to drug test they must be prepared to follow up after they find out.
“Are you them prepared to talk about how to get them into a treatment center? Are you ready to have no contact with them for a month or longer?” she said. “And how will you have that difficult and important conversation about what that means with your child?”
A little bit of the doctor’s office is now available in the privacy of your own home. At-home tests for pregnancy and blood sugar have been around for years, but they’re being joined on the shelves by tests that answer a host of medical questions, from whether your teen is using drugs to whether you have HIV.
Check to make sure tests are approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Unapproved tests are more likely to deliver false positive or false negative results. Share the results with your doctor soon after you get them. That way he or she can check to make sure that the results are accurate and decide what action, if any, to take. Follow the directions carefully.———————————————————————————————-
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