• 11-11-2008:KOHD Oregon


     

    Special Report: Home Drug Tests and Teens Tuesday, November 11, 2008 – 08:53 AM 

    By Matt McDonald

     

     

    11/11/2008 - Bend
    by Matt McDonald
     
    A teenager with a drug problem, it's one of a parent's worst fears.
     
    "When I was thirteen I did my first line of coke," said Marcus (not his real name), an 18-year old who has agreed to share his story. He admits to having used cocaine, pot, ecstasy and marijuana and he's paid a price.
     
    "By the age of 15 I had moved out of my house and was already working," said Marcus.
     
    According to the most recent county level Oregon Healthy Teens Survey,almost ten percent of 11th grade students in Deschutes County report using marijuana at least once in the last 30 days.
     
    Now, a new tool for parents in the fight against drug abuse. It's called, hairconfirm an off the shelf drug testing kit that will confirm the use of drugs ranging from marijuana to methamphetamine. It costs $65 and is available online.
     
    After sending in 90 to 120 strands of hair, parents can login to check the anonymous results.
     
    Marcus agreed, with some reservations, to take the test.
     
    But for other teens, taking a test like this can seem like and invasion of privacy. And as Marcus says, a loss of trust is part of the drug addiction problem."
     
    "There's no talking about it because the parent's always right," said Marcus
     
    Bob Jones works for the Bend LaPine School District. He's seen hundreds of parents and kids wrestling with the issue of drug use and he says privacy isn't the issue.
     
     
    "In this situation, the uh, I'll say the will of the parent would supersede those wishes of the student," said Jones.
     
    For concerned parents the schools are often the first place to turn. After an initial evaluation by a school counselor, they can refer students to treatment through Deschutes County Mental Health or private programs with youth specific programs like Rimrock Trails in Prineville.
     
    Jones says drug tests can be a valuable tool in helping parents, but he admits it will likely cause trouble initially.
     
     
    "I could imagine there could be some discord or disharmony in the family because of that," said Jones.
     
    That discord may prove counter-productive. According to the National Institute of Health a key prevention strategy is family bonding, a closeness that proved difficult for Marcus and his mother. He's says she is also a drug user and now the two rarely speak.
     
    Two weeks after mailing Marcus's drug test in, we login to check the results. His prediction, marijuana and possibly mushrooms. Marcus is half right, the test is positive for marijuana. But the reality won't force him to make any immediate changes.
     
    "Will I be addicted to drugs my whole life, no I won't. Would I stop smoking pot, probably someday," he said.

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    Categories: HairConfirm on TV

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