Parents willing to drug test kids
Nov 1, 2006
Two thirds of parents would ask their teenage son or daughter to take a home drug test as a means of keeping them away from drugs, according to a nationwide survey of 2,064 US parents.
"This survey underscores that parents realize the importance of early communications with their children and are open to the use of a home drug test to keep their children safe and drug free," stated Debbie Moak, co-founder of notMYkid, a national non-profit organisation devoted to drug abuse prevention.
"We believe that fostering greater communication between parents and their children coupled with utilization of a home drug test are the keys to preventing drug abuse and addiction," she added.
The survey conducted October 19-22, 2006, also found that 86 percent of parents of 12- to 18-year-olds have pointed discussions with their teen about the perils of illicit drugs on a weekly or monthly basis. However, only about 50% of parents talk about the dangers of prescription drug abuse, an alarmingly growing trend among teens.
According to a 2005 survey conducted by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, roughly one in five teenagers, or 4.3 million teens, has abused a prescription painkiller to get high and 1 in 11 has abused over-the-counter products, like cough medicines.
The notMYkid survey also shows that about one quarter of parents either have not had discussions with their child about drugs or did not begin discussions until their child was in high school.
The survey is part of notMYkid's activities around Red Ribbon Week, an annual drug abuse awareness week that runs through October 31 aimed at school children, parents and teachers.
The notMYkid organization also recently launched Project 7th Grade, a family-oriented prevention initiative that helps parents achieve an early and ongoing dialogue with their children about substance abuse, incorporating drug testing as a cornerstone of deterrence.
First Check Diagnostics, which manufactures a home drug test, has committed $US1 million in funding and product to the national rollout of Project 7th Grade. "The sole aim of notMYkid and Project 7th Grade is to raise awareness among parents that teen drug use and abuse is a significant problem and that there are resources available to help keep their children away from drugs," said Moak, who co-founded the organization with Steve Moak, after living through the pain of drug abuse within their own family.