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Our mission is to reverse the trend of mass incarceration in Colorado. We are a coalition of nearly 7,000 individual members and over 100 faith and community organizations who have united to stop perpetual prison expansion in Colorado through policy and sentence reform.

Our chief areas of interest include drug policy reform, women in prison, racial injustice, the impact of incarceration on children and families, the problems associated with re-entry and stopping the practice of using private prisons in our state.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Drug Testing Children At Home

When parents start testing their children for drugs at home it sets a bad precedent and lowers the parent/child trust factor. Talking to your kids and knowing where they are spending their time is far more important. There is a level of sophistication involved with drug testing that certainly isn't possible from your kitchen.

The Boulder mother had been down this road with one child and swore she would never make a return trip. When she became suspicious her younger son was trying drugs, she went to Walgreens, plunked down $38 for a home drug-test kit and told him to pee in a cup.

The high school junior was furious. And busted.

"Don't you trust me?" he wailed.

His mother would not budge.

Finally, reluctantly, the 16-year-old, whose name is not being used to protect his privacy, confessed: The reason he didn't want to take the test was that it would be positive.

His mother thanked him for his honesty and gave him 30 days to clean up his act. There would be another test when he least expected. A month later, she sent him back to the bathroom, cup in hand. He passed.

In the year since, she hasn't tested him again. But that doesn't mean she won't. She keeps a test in the house, just in case.

What makes this mother's private act of parental vigilance so extraordinary is not that she and tens of thousands of other parents have bought into the multimillion-dollar industry of home drug testing.

It's that parents do so despite warnings from most major drug-abuse and treatment professionals, the nation's medical establishment, parenting experts and even the White House. All call home-testing teens a bad idea.

"I guess home testing is better than no testing," said a skeptical Bertha Madras, the White House's deputy drug czar.

But her Office of National Drug Control Policy does not encourage parents to take matters into their own hands. Instead, the Bush administration backs random school drug testing, arguing schools are better equipped to help with counseling and referrals if a problem is found.

"By the time a parent tests, it's already far down the road," Madras said.

The Denver Post

1 comment:

Priscilla said...

I think having home drug test available will make our children to resist using drugs cause they would think twice because we will easily determine whether they're onto drugs or not.