Over the Counter Drug Testing Kits


It has recently been in the news in the area where I live that a local drug store is now selling over the counter drug testing kits for purchase by parents. These kits can be purchased by anyone and vary in cost depending on extent of testing to be performed. A five panel test for PCP’s, marijuana, opiates, methamphetamines and amphetamines sells for approximately $20.00 while a single panel test for the individual meds listed can be purchased for approximately $12.00-$15.00. A urine sample is obtained and a chemical is introduced that will react with the reagent strip and keep it from binding. I would have to wonder what this information will be used for. Are parents provided with enough information about resources available to them after the fact if their child tests positive? Are parents aware of the legal ramifications of involving law enforcement or their local school district once the test is positive. How can a parent get the help they need for their child without having a negative impact on their future? Illegal drug use has become very prevalent in our small community but over the counter and prescription drugs have been just as deadly. We need to do something to protect our children from the dangers of all of these drugs but I am not sure that testing after the fact is the answer. It is possible that if a child knows they will be tested monthly at home, by their parents it will keep them from trying drugs in the first place. It would be worth $20.00/month for piece of mind. However, there is also the loss of trust between parent and child. If you establish this routine from an early age and set the expectation is the trust lost if it is just part of life as they have known it?

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