Why Test Kids
According to HealthChildren.org, one in four illicit-drug users between the age of twelve and seventeen develops dependency, a rate significantly higher than any other age group.
Why Test Teenagers At All?
According to NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse), teens' brain and bodies are still developing, and this makes them especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of drug use. Not all teens use illicit drugs, but for those who do, it can lead to a wide range of adverse effects on their behavior and health. In the short term, even a single use of an intoxicating drug can affect a person's judgement and decision making, resulting in accidents, poor performance in school or sports activities, unplanned risky behavior, and overdose. Long term repeated drug use can lead to serious problems such as poor academic outcomes, mood changes (depending on the drug: depression, anxiety, paranoia, psychosis), and social or family problems caused or worsened by drugs.
A urine test will show recent drug or alcohol use between 1 to 3 days. A hair test can indicate long term use of drugs up to 90 days. Typically the hair for a drug test is taken from the crown of the head close to the root growth.
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Behaviors of Use
Some of the behaviors that a parent can look for will help to identify potential alcohol or drug use:
Physical Signs of Use
Other visual clues that could indicate alcohol or drug use: