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The Risks

Whenever drug testing is performed against the full consent of the individual to be tested, there is a privacy rights violation. Parents do not need to worry about a violation of privacy rights in the legal sense, and are legally able to perform these tests; but there may be repercussions from teens who feel they are being unfairly tested.

Some would argue that drug testing non compliant teens damages a sometimes already tenuous relationship, and makes the parent child relationship more combative and adversarial than it needs to be.

The testing kits may also not be as accurate as is implied on websites selling the medical devices. A recent independent study noted that the testing kits were off by as much as 6% to 40% on false negatives depending on the drug to be tested, and they may be giving parents a false sense of security when there is in fact a problem. Also, the testing accuracy can be further reduced should parents incorrectly handle the sample, or should kids manipulate the testing process. Teens may dilute urine with water to reduce the efficacy of the tests, and may even take drug masking agents sold to beat the tests, and easily available through the internet.

Also complicating the process of non compliant drug testing is the need to physically observe the testing. To ensure accuracy it is recommended that testers observe the performance of a urine sample…which is something that most parents and all kids will object to on some levels; and taking a hair sample may also be problematic from a teen resisting the process.

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