Parents Have a Partner in the Fight against Kids' Drug
(ARA) - "Not my kid." Every parent likes to think the best of
their children, and suspecting them of drug use certainly doesn't
fall into that category.
Not knowing may be even worse. With 40 percent of teens in this
country expected to use drugs in the future, and one out of every
five kids in the 8th grade already involved in marijuana use
according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, the reality is a
lot of our kids are using — and abusing — drugs and
So what can society, and more specifically parents, do to
positively impact these statistics, and dozens more that are equally
Not surprisingly, the process begins at home. Two-thirds of kids
say that losing the respect of their parents is one of the main
reasons they wouldn't smoke marijuana or use other drugs. And kids
who learn about the risks of drug
abuse from their parents are 36 percent less likely to use
marijuana and half as likely to use cocaine.
"Most kids don't want to disappoint their families," according to
Dr. Amelie Ramirez, a public health physician. "Parents who send a
clear message of 'no drug use' are setting expectations for their
kids, and this will help those kids stay away from drugs."
Being involved in their lives and knowing what your children are
doing also helps keep kids away from drugs, and in some cases that
could mean testing them with products like those that are available
online at http://www.homedrugtestingkit.com/.
"Anything that I can do as a parent to raise responsible children
— without the rest of the world necessarily knowing about it, is a
good thing," says HomeDrugTestingKit.com president Amanda Beihl, who
was frustrated with the thought that she would have to have a
doctor's order to drug test her kids. "I wanted to give parents
another avenue to handle possible substance abuse in their home on
their own before the government stepped in, possibly due to an
arrest or other life event, and their kids became 'part of the
system.' Our goal is to offer parents another option toward
A basic single-substance drug test kit costs $3 and ranges upward
to the five-substance drug test kit at $7. They are guaranteed to
give you results with 99 percent accuracy in three to five minutes
utilizing a urine sample. This is done in the privacy of your own
home, business or educational environment, and the results stay with
The drug test kits are for methamphetamine (speed, ecstasy),
benzodiazepines (valium and xanax), cocaine, opiates (morphine,
heroin), THC (marijuana), PCP, nicotine and alcohol.
Communities around the country are also becoming involved by
offering the drug-testing kits to concerned parents.
The city of Fresno, Calif., for example, has handed out dozens of
these drug testing kits for free, and sold hundreds more at a
reduced price as part of their community services.
While the city can't point to any studies showing that the
availability of the drug testing kits has led to a decline in drug
use among Fresno youth, "it is a tool for parents to use to create a
dialogue with their kids," according to Alita Warner, Fresno's
coordinator for after-school initiatives.
Another tool parents can use is http://www.homedrugtestingkit.com/. It contains
helpful information including a glossary of common street drug
terms, specifics about the physical and mental health dangers
associated with the use of various drugs, and even a downloadable
30-page pamphlet called "Keeping Your Kids Drug-Free" from the
Office of National Drug Control Policy.
"A big part of what we do is educational," says Beihl. "A lot of
these parents were not drug users when they were younger and they
just don't know a lot about it. They're hungry for information."
This kind of information is a good starting point for everyone
when it comes to understanding the cost and consequences of tobacco, alcohol and
drug use and abuse — major factors in America's growing health
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