Parents turn to drug testing to keep kids safe

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - It's not as uncommon as you may think, parents drug testing their kids.

At Any Lab Test Now in Carmel, it's something parents do for a number of reasons.

"A lot of parents like to use it as an educational tool," says owner Christine Suever. "It may be a condition for driving the car. If you want to drive the car, sure, but this is one of the conditions that you have to accept.”

She says it may be a requirement for extracurricular activity like sports, or a requirement for taking on new responsibility.

"One parent explained to their child, look, I have to get drug tested at work, you might as well get used to it now."

While Suever says marijuana is typically the one that is widespread among teens, the growing opioid epidemic brings new concerns.

"It is so prevalent and easily accessible.”

While some may see testing kids as a lack of trust, Suever says it's about how you communicate with your child.

"I think if the parent approaches it correctly that it’s not about trust that it’s about, look, making sure you’re safe. Parents have to do a lot of things that their kids think are invasive and this is just one of them.”

Some may choose to do a take home test. Suever says they are accurate, but a home bathroom isn't a controlled environment.

Lab tests are also backed by scientists and give a more detailed analysis. It can show levels in the body. That provides parents with a better understanding of the usage.

"Parents can bring their children in here to a place that sort takes all of the emotions out of it, the animosity," says Suever.

When it comes to testing, there are also a few different options.

A blood test measures levels in the body at that moment, but drugs may not stay in the blood more than 24 hours.

A urine test is the cheapest and most common. It measures drugs in the system up to a month.

The most expensive is the hair or nail test. It can go back several months, but substances may not show up for a week or two. This test is recommended if chronic usage is suspected.

Suever says every situation is different, but parents may want to consider multiple tests if they're not sure when drugs were ingested.

The price can range from $50 to $300.

For some parents, that may be a small price to pay to ensure their kids don't become addicted.

Testing isn't the only resource for parents.

Friday is International Overdose Awareness Day and one Indianapolis company is taking steps in the fight against the opioid epidemic.

Managed Health Services launches 2 new web-based resource centers. The sites offer information, programs and community support for those struggling with addiction.

For more information head to: http://www.mhsindiana.com/members/hip/opioid-resources.html