It is a hotly debated proposal.   A new bill would require parents to
drug test their children in order to keep them in school.   Long Island
lawmaker Assemblyman Joseph Saladino (R-Massapequa)  introduced the
bill this week.   The bill would force parents to sign a statement
swearing they had tested their children annually.   The students tested
would be high schoolers, grades 9th through 12th.   The results would
not be relayed to school administrators.

The Teensavers Team
applauds Saladino for his efforts.  After all, parents who discover that
their child is using a substance, can help correct the problem.
Oftentimes, a teenagers habit becomes a full blown addiction before
loved ones find out.   Treating the problem at that point can be
difficult.

While we always encourage parents to use drug tests to
help ensure that their kids are clean, there are a few problems we see
with this bill.  First, testing only once a year doesn’t do a whole
lot.   If you test your teen in January, they have another 10 months of
potential substance abuse.    The key to home drug testing is regular
and random.   Your teen should know that they could be tested at any
time, but at no specific time.  This also helps prevent a kid from
possessing substitute urine or a masking agent handy.

The other
problem we have with the bill is that it starts with 8th grades.
14-years-old is not the entry age for drug use.   SAMHSA stats say that
2500 children experiement with drugs for the first time every day, and
some of them are as young as 8-years-old.   This policy would work
better for children grades 6th and up.    Now you are looking at 11 and
12-year-olds, who may just be experimenting with marijuana or other
controlled substances.   Early detection is key when trying to cutoff a
growing drug problem.  By high school, kids have more means to find
masking agents, or find someone to provide them with a urine sample.

Teensavers believes that Saladino is on the right path.   He told CBS2 in New York,

“We want to make sure that parents have the tools
they need to determine if there’s an addiction problem with a serious
drug — we’re talking heroin, barbiturates, opiates — the kinds of drugs
that lead to death,” Saladino said.

He claimed the bill is designed to assist parents.

“Once
a teen becomes 18-years-old, they’re an adult, and parents lose all
control of the situation and are not able to get them into rehab,” Saladino said. “This helps parents identify the problem early.”

We
believe Saladino is working towards a great plan to help keep kids off
drugs.   What we are proud to see is that he responded after a series of
heroin deaths in his community.   Many lawmakers are not doing much to
help fight this surging drug problem.

Hopefully Saladino can wake up the parents of these kids, and let them know that this threat is for real.

 

 

 

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