Teens and Drugs
It’s a parent’s worst nightmare that happens all too often: getting a call from the police, or a hospital, saying that your child has overdosed on drugs. For many parents and education professionals, drug tests are an important tool in their arsenal to combat the problem of drug abuse in school.
Officials at Huntington Beach High in Southern California have instituted a voluntary drug testing campaign this month. The school will test 10 students at random each month, according to a report in the Huntington Beach Independent. Drug testing is a response to the death of a student who overdosed on heroin last year.
The use of hard drugs like heroin is not confined to the wrong side of the tracks. Kids today can get their hands on illegal narcotics no matter what neighborhood they live in, and parents need a way to keep their kids out of trouble when faced with the many opportunities and temptations to abuse drugs. Kids are using plenty of marijuana, of course, but also club drugs like ecstasy and molly, plus stimulants like amphetamines.
High School Drug Testing Expands
As parents and educators are growing more concerned about the problem of drug abuse on their campuses, more high schools are preparing to begin drug testing of their students.
For example, the West Milford Board of Education in New Jersey plans to randomly screen students who participate in extracurricular activities, according to the NorthJersey news website.
Meanwhile, public schools in Edmond, Oklahoma also plan to begin testing students on a random basis, according to the NewsOK site, which notes that the district has suspended 660 students from its middle schools and high schools for using drugs since 2005.
In addition, administrators will begin randomly testing students on a volunteer basis at La Salle High School in Cincinnati beginning this November, and the school plans to implement mandatory drug testing in 2014, according to a post at the WLWT TV news site.
When your kid knows that he or she is subject to taking a random drug at a moment’s notice, they’ll be more likely to think twice before experimenting with these dangerous substances. Kids who don’t want to miss out on participating in extracurricular activities such as sports can tell their friends that they won’t risk taking drugs and getting caught.
While it may be unpleasant to think that your child might be using drugs or even be addicted to them, getting the facts with a drug test may be just what your family needs. If you have identified erratic behavior in your teen, sluggishness, moodiness, or extreme energy, it might be (or might not be) drug related. Why wonder? Talk to your teen about drugs.
We also encourage you to consider using Parent/Teen Contracts, that you can write up as you wish, or you can use some of the following ideas:
Sample Parent/Teen Drug-Free Contract
Parent: I agree that you have a right to privacy, but the use of drugs is not acceptable.
Child: I agree that you have the right to know whether or not I am using drugs.
Parent: I agree not to judge you for any past drug use, but I must ensure, and be reassured, that you do not use drugs going forward.
Child: I agree that I will avoid hanging out with kids who use drugs.
Parent: I agree to provide random drug tests to you going forward. You will not be notified in advance.
Child: I agree to submit to random drug tests at any time you ask, and I will not give you a hard time about it, or be mad about it. I understand that this is the best way for both/all of us to be comfortable that I am not using any drugs.