Parenting Resource for Teens

Not all parents have teens that are experimenting with, or struggling with substances.   But for those of us who are, this is a great resource.   

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Would you drug test your teen?

When I ask parents of teens that question, it sometimes generates a strong reaction.  Both positive and negative.

This is a unique and complex parenting era.   To drug test or not to drug test isn’t a question that my mother would have considered when I was a teen, although had the tests been available, she may have considered it.  Drugs were readily available in my teen years, but somehow it seems that more than ever before, pot use is glamorized in movies, music and YouTube videos that teens watch.

Whether they indulged in drug use during their youth or not (or still do) many parents today are aware that the marijuana available today is significantly stronger in TCH content than in previous decades.  And research on the negative impact of drug use on the developing brain continues to emerge from the scientific community, heightening parental concern.

As a parent of a teen, I have engaged in conversation with parents in my community on the topic of drug use amongst our teens.   The parents I have spoken to admit that while they are aware that their young teens are experimenting, they are confused as to how to overcome both the social and peer influences.

A recent conversation with the local high school counsellor exposed the dilemma that schools face in addressing drug use amongst their teen population.  Although the local high schools will suspend or even expel students for obvious drug use, the school administration is aware of drug use on the periphery of their property that is difficult to monitor or control.

In the fall of 2009 I invited a small group of local parents of teens to participate in a series of dialogues to exchange information on what we were witnessing with our own teens and in our community.  When our parent group discussed various tools we’d incorporated into our parental tool kit, the drug testing ‘tool’ proved to be a controversial option.   Is it too invasive, does it indicate a lack of trust, is it exerting power ‘over’ are some of the questions we explored. 

I’m continuing to read up on this topic, and would appreciate hearing your stories, and your opinion.