Subscribe to the free KidsGrowth weekly email newsletter by entering your email address below.
Advertising links will direct you off of the KidsGrowth Web site. KidsGrowth is neither responsible for nor does it necessarily endorse the privacy practices, content or products of these sites.
|Quick reference medical handouts used
by Pediatric offices
See Saw -
From Our Parents
The discussion is:
You suspect that your teenage daughter may be using drugs so you call your pediatricians office and ask to bring her in for a drug screen without her knowledge. The office informs you that it is not the doctors policy to do this without the child knowing about it and offers an appointment for you to discuss your concerns. Should you insist on the drug screen and change pediatricians if your pediatrician will not agree to do the testing in the manner you request?
IF the parent is so concerned about their child's activity they should be honest with her. If the parents are sneaky and dishonest about the test they are only showing their daughter that they don't trust her. It will only hurt their relationship in the future with even bigger situations
My concern is why is this TEENAGER still seeing a Pediatrician! At this time of a girls life mom should be asking for a referral to see a doctor who specializes in adolescent health. I know that if I had had a trusted doctor to go to when I was a teen that many of the things that happened to me could have been avoided. I also would have been more confident in making certain choices because I was well informed. Kids don't want to always hear things from their parents, but another respected adult figure which they trust can make the world of difference! I don't think that the parents should go behind the girls back and have her tested. Tell her what you want to do. When she refuses, because she will whether she is using or not, ask her if she would feel more comfortable talking to her own doctor! Set up the appointment and go with her. But understand that she is now with her doctor and for her to feel as if she is trusted you must abide by the doctor/patient privacy.Let her know that you are concerned with her health and that if she has any thing she wants to talk about she can ask you or the doctor. Any doctor experienced in adolescent health will be able to tell if she is using. Every time you think she is using make an appointment and explain that she is not well. A trend will set it and her usage will either stop or be caught. Most of all you need to trust her. If she refuses because she insists that she is not using, BELIEVE HER! TELL HER YOU BELIEVE HER! AND REALLY STICK TO THAT BELIEF! Continue the dialog of believing in her and trusting that she is telling the truth. Trust is one of the best things you can give to a child of this age!
You should accept the pediatrician's offer and make an appointment to discuss your concerns. Your daughter will feel violated when (not if) she finds out what you have done! Your relationship with her will suffer for it. Teenagers can be difficult much of the time anyway. Don't find ways to make it any more so.
I think that if the child is under 18, the parents have the right to have their daughter take a drug test. People always complain that it is the parents fault that the child is the way he/she is. Well, if a parent takes the initiative to find out about their child's activities, they should not be stopped. By intervening, the child might realize that what he/she is doing is either the right or wrong choice. In this instance, the parent should be able to help their child, but the only way of doing that is to find out if he/she is taking drugs. If the doctor decides that they can not screen the child for drugs, then the parents should, not necessarily change doctors, but get another opinion or go to someone else that will screen the child.
I disagree, parents have a responsibility to work this out on their own.
Children have rights too.
I feel that you as a parent should demand the drug-screen without the child's consent.And change doctor's if needed. For some of us, that isn't an option. There are "OTC" home drug testing kits. We are placed in the position of authority. At any given time, we as parents, should use any means necessary to insure that our children are safe. ANY MEANS NECESSARY!!!
The scenario suggested is easily solved. If a parent is refused the requested service from their pediatrician, information SHOULD be provided on the availability of home testing kits. If the test is positive, then the parent takes charge, not the child, and proceeds in the same manner as a mother would if her child had a broken bone. We adults are responsible for the well being of our children's physical health AND their mental health. Drug use is unacceptable if you want your son or daughter to grow to adulthood as a healthy, functioning citizen
I would find a way to get the child tested. As for changing the pediatrician, that would depend on the relationship that I had with that physician. I have often not been in agreement with a pediatrician, however have trusted their judgement. when it comes to drugs a parent should have the right to test without the childs knowledge. I hope that any parent in this situation finds a way to have the child tested before its too late.
My teenaged daughter, Sarah, and I have discussed the issue of illegal drugs at great length. Because of our family history (my husband and I both have family members who have abused alcohol)I have explained to her my concern that that she may be genetically predisposed to become easily addicted to drugs. While other people may be able to try drugs and then walk away, I fear she wouldn't be so lucky. Our discussions begin with drugs, but what we are really talking about is how much we love each other. I have explained that it is my job to stop at nothing to protect her from harm. If I ever suspect she has been using drugs, she knows I will insist on a drug test.
I am happy to say that Sarah has never caused me to arrange such a test. All parents, grandparents and others that love kids need discuss the harms of drug use with them...openly, honestly and OFTEN. Don't worry about what to say...just talk to them from the heart. They'll get the message about drugs but, more importantly, they'll learn something about how much you love them!!!
Yes change doctors. A parents need to know outweighs any privacy issues between doctor & teenager. What a parent does not know could kill their child.
Unfortunately current laws and medical practice make it difficult for parents to find help when they suspect their child is using drugs. Testing is just one
small piece in the puzzle. My feeling is that if it has gotten to that point the family and teen probably need additional support or counseling to build trust in the family. Many physicians are unable to provide that type of support or
even a referral for the family because they have little or no relationship with the teen and parents. In other cases they feel they are bound by "medical confidentiality" and will not discuss the teens risky behavior with the parent which unfortunately makes it much more difficult to find a solution for the teen and the family. A family centered approach is essential.
I speak from experience. I called the police when my daughter came home stoned. They wouldn't do anything. The doctor wouldn't test her. She started stealing to get money. They wouldn't test her or arrest her because of her age, she seemed too innocent. Now she's violent, shoplifts and has caused harm to other children and I'm being told that if I had insisted on having her tested and not taken no for an answer, she'd have a "history" and be now entitled to receive help. I've been told I have to wait until she comes home high a few more times, shoplifts again, hurts someone or herself again, before they can do anything because I didn't insist on having her tested after they told me no. My answer is, have her tested now and each and every time you suspect she is high. Have it documented, call the police. If you wait until your child is out of control, it will be too late. Have a plan set up in advance, and don't take no for an answer. When push comes to shove do what you have to do.
I don't know if I would change pediatricians over this matter but I do feel that the parents have the right to have their child drug tested without the childs knowledge. I would discuss in details my feelings on why I would NOT want my child to know and listen to the doctors reasons on why he/she felt differently. If I felt strongly enough about it and did not agree with his/her reasoning I would find another pediatrician at that time.
This is in response to the drug test and the child not knowing about it. If the teenager is still depending on the parent for shelter, food, and clothing, the parents need to know whether or not they are taking drugs. Doctors should do the test if the parents request it without the child knowing. How can a parent help their children if they don't know what they are doing. Once a child becomes of age and out of the parents home, then they can do as they please. But until that happens parents need to know. The system is messed up and I believe if parents had more say so in what a child can and can not do there would not be so many of our youth in JDC or pregnant.
This is what we did: Our 14 year old ran away so we called the pediatrician who agreed to mail us orders for full drug and alcohol screen so that when the child returned we could go directly to the lab for testing. We did this. Positive for pot, cigarettes, and Tylenol.What you can do depends on the laws in your locality and the age of the child. It also depends on the pediatrician. Ours had a list of recommended drug counselors and programs. Ours also had seen the children regularly since we moved into this area. We were established. If the child is showing symptoms, in some localities, you can take them to the emergency room and get testing done. It varies greatly with the locality.
I think as your child grows up you should talk about drugs. Telling them that it's not good and at any time you suspect them of drug use you will have the tested. Also if you feel the need to have them tested than something else is going on. I mean someone doesn't just do drugs or drink. Other things go with it. Stealing or smoking to name a few. So i think if you decide to do a drug test they should also be put in at least a group with other children to talk about life issues.
I think that since a parent is responsable and loves their children and can go to jail or pay a large fine for what their children do than they should want and should legelly be able to drug test them in order to make and keep their children safe. I think that is part of their job and the goverment should aid them in doing so. Children doing drugs are not going to just up and say "Hey i'm doing drugs why don't you test me" Or Say "Yes lets test me so i can get into trouble." So i think it's stupid to think that Teenagers are going to just up and agree with drug tests.... That is why i think that you should tell them as they grow up that they will be tested so you ARE telling them in advanced and you don't have to ask them at the time of testing.
I think that I would take my 13 year old to be tested with or without her being informed that this is what I am doing. I would base my chioce of telling her on the grounds of how serious a problem I thought drugs where for her. If it is a newly created problem and experimental then I think education and open discussion would be advised to try and educate the child. However if I was unable to prevent further use then I would want to evaluate the use and it's frequency and seek alternative councilling to seek out why my child is suseptable to peer pressure or underlying problems that has caused him/her to turn to drugs. At 16 I would tell my daughter/son that I considered at thier age that drugs are not a chioce but a habbit and one that will lead to further medical problems if they continue to use then. I would also tell them that illegal drugs are just that and that it would be negligent of me not to endeavour to do all I can to help them break the habbit. I also think that a parent should have a right to have thier child tested for drug use when they can provide proof the child is using drugs. I think it should be illegal for a parent to allow the continuation of Drug use with thier knowledge that the child is doing so. I also think it would be negligent of a Dr not to provide proventative treatment, if the test proves positive, to the child's ongoing welfare. Just as suspected cases of child abuse are mandatorally report so should suspected cases of drug use in a minor be reported.
No way! she will know what you did when you get the results. then you will have betrayed her. thats not a good idea. Tell her in 20 days you are going to have her take one if she does not pass you know its a problem because she could not quit when she knew there was a test coming up. Then after the first one tell her they will be more frequent then you can surprize her. 20 days is not long enough to get marijuana out of your system. Actually if you can do a hair test that will tell you everything shes done but give her time to clean out or fair warning.