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Drug Testing Your Child

June 12th, 2009 · No Comments

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American parents have jumped on the anti-drug bandwagon with such fervour that they are taking matters into their own hands. Hair Follicle Drug Testing has become so commonplace there that you can buy a kit over the internet.

If there is a suspicion that their child is taking drugs, they can simply pluck a hair from their head and send it off to a lab for analysis. The ecommerce website Testcountry lists the pros as: can detect drugs for up to 90 days, donor-friendly, easy to store, difficult to adulterate, highly accurate and non-invasive. The cons are: long results waiting period as samples must be sent to the lab, does not detect drug use of more recent than 1.5 weeks, costs more than urine or saliva drug testing.

It all seems a bit CSI, doesn’t it? Sneaking into their room in the middle of the night (because there’s no way that a child who is actually taking drugs will willingly donate a lock for testing), packaging up the hair so that it doesn’t get contaminated, sending it off to a high-tech lab.

Until you’ve been a parent of a drug-addicted teenager it’s difficult to understand the desperation that over-rides any care for a child’s privacy or individual rights. According to parents who’ve been there with their child, you would do anything to know and then whatever it takes to try and get them through it. But knowing for certain is the first hurdle, hence the need to take matters (and hair follicles) into their own hands.

The 10 Panel Hair Drug Test Kit apparently can detect the 10 most popular illicit drugs:
Marijuana (Carboxy – THC)
Cocaine (Benzoylecgonine)
Amphetamines
Methamphetamines
Opiates (Codeine & Morphine)
Phencyclidine
Barbiturates
Benzodiazepines
Propoxyphene
Methadone

But before you jump online and start ordering a kit of your own, check out the report on the reliability of this kind of testing on the Australian Institute of Criminology website. Two key findings are that neither urinalysis nor hair testing are reliable methods for detecting alcohol use; and that African Americans are 30 to 50 times more likely to return a positive from a hair test than Caucasians or Asians.

Like any form of testing, bear in mind that you still may not find the definitive answer.

Image: http://www.testcountry.com/

Tags: Addiction · Alcohol · Drugs · Technology

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