When you think of kids and drugs, your mind likely rushes to visions of an inner city, perhaps Baltimore, Los Angeles, Chicago, or even Miami. However, based on more than 20 metrics, a study finds that a state whose largest city’s population doesn’t even rank in the top 50 in the U.S. rates third in the country when it comes to drug problems, addiction, and drug-related arrests. What state, you ask? Missouri.
Mostly using data surrounding drug-related arrests, overdose rates, opioid prescriptions, and employer drug tests, a personal finance website—WalletHub—recently released its report ranking all 50 states in terms of drug use. The study serves as a reminder to parents: The danger of drug use is not restricted to borders, population, lifestyles, red states, or blue states. It cannot be stereotyped. Unfortunately, no matter where your child lives, the influence of drugs can live only a block away, if not closer. Drugs such as opioids and meth especially breach your doorsteps with incredible ease these days.
According to WalletHub, Missouri law officers make more drug arrests than those in any other state in the United States. Missouri ranks 17th—per capita—in rehab center patients and those struggling with health-related issues due to drugs. Its number of drug users and addicts, overall, ranks 18th in the study.
You may live in a state, city, or neighborhood not pictured as a bastion for drug-related problems—in the same vein as the Show Me state. However, when it comes to popular street drugs, a parent’s eyes must remain wide open, no matter where you live in the country. To drive the point home a bit further, Hawaii, Alaska, South Dakota, and even Missouri’s farming neighbor, Kansas, rank among the top 10 in prevalence of meth use, according to a 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
As a parent, you can’t even blink when it comes to drugs entering your household. It may be even harder to detect today than it was in the ‘60s or ‘70s, when text messaging and cell phones were relegated to sci-fi status. Absconding with some prescription opioids from a parent, uncle, or other adult is as easy as stealing a cigarette from an older family member used to be.
If you want to get serious about a lurking suspicion that your child may be dabbling with drugs, then there’s one surefire preventative method. Consider a home hair drug test, such as HairConfirm, available at your local CVS Pharmacy. While the topic is touchy, for sure, implementing a regular home drug test regimen ensures you’re seeing the big picture. So, how do you broach the topic with your child and expect complete honesty? Kids, as we all know, can be less than forthcoming when it comes to breaking rules and laws. So, how do you persuade your child to take a drug test?
Luckily, there are discreet ways to conduct an at-home drug test in the privacy of your own home. Outside of looking for the telltale physical or emotional symptoms, a hair drug test, like HairConfirm, is the perfect fit for those wishing to maintain a low profile.
While many parents think of a urine test when it comes to at-home testing, a hair drug test is cheat-proof. It doesn’t require an exchange or relay as in urine testing, where the one tested must carry a container into the bathroom and return it. An at-home hair drug test is simple and non-invasive.
What Makes Hair Drug Testing So Effective?
As opposed to urine testing often used by parents and employers when screening employees, a hair drug test provides a window to longer histories of drug use. For instance, urine testing only detects drug use 3-5 days prior to screening at best. But a hair drug test? Now, you have a 90-day window. One caveat, however: The residue of drugs in the blood system takes 5-7 days to manifest itself in hair follicles. Therefore, your hair drug test will only reveal usage before the previous 5-7 days. Urine testing, therefore, is best if you suspect the drug use was very recent.
The advantage to hair testing also lies in the ease of obtaining the follicles (100-120 strands are needed). You don’t have to resort to Delilah’s covert behavior with Samson. Gaining such a small amount of hair from the scalp or other portions of your child’s body is not a Mission Impossible kind of effort.
And because the hair drug test covers a 90-day period of detection, it can be administered only 3-4 times a year to provide a comprehensive window of drug history. You would have to conduct almost weekly testing with urine to gain such a comprehensive window of usage. By starting the drug abuse conversation with your child and implementing a quarterly hair drug test regimen, you can safely prevent and monitor your child’s drug use, making them accountable for their decisions.
Your Vigilance Comes First
As with all the pitfalls inherent with youth, a parent must maintain a vigilant eye when it comes to detecting a child’s drug use. Preventative measures, such as home drug testing, are key. Don’t presume that your block or neighborhood is different than those so easily associated with crime and drug use. Peer pressure never changes from generation to generation. It is intrinsically tied to growing up—especially in the teenage years. Administering an at-home drug test is a preventative step toward ensuring your child’s bright future.