More Portland-area parents choosing to regularly drug test their - KPTV - FOX 12

More Portland-area parents choosing to regularly drug test their kids

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Families across the Portland metro area are in back to school mode, shopping for all the essentials like notebooks and backpacks. But, for some, that list now also includes drug tests.

"Say it's been a long weekend, your kid is off doing something and parents have some suspicion, they bring a child in to have them tested," said Any Lab Test Now Lab Manager Eileen Moreton. "Parents are doing this because they love their child, they want to protect their child and they want to help their child. It's not because they're being mean."

Any Lab Test now is a direct access lab where parents are signing up kids to take either monthly or bi-weekly drug tests in Vancouver. There's multiple labs across the nation.

The lab can perform hair follicle, finger nail, or urine tests for varying fees. The service is touted as confidential.

"Sometimes parents have a fear that a school will find out, or will a doctor find out, or will CPS find out, so they have the option of testing their kid and it's completely anonymous, so that gives peace of mind," said Moreton.

"I think we're not at a place where everyone's comfortable talking about it yet," said mother Josette Marquand. "But, marijuana is legal and so readily available and kids are curious, so they're going to try things."

Marquand is a mother of three young kids who is preparing to have that conversation with her kids in the future.

If need be, she says she'd consider utilizing drug tests to ensure they're making good choices.

"You don't want to be that naïve parent, you don't want to find out later, or look back and say, 'I wish that I had tested, I wish that I had seen the signs before the problem got this bad,'" said Marquand.

The decision to routinely test teens for drug and alcohol use is one many parents across the Portland metro area seem to be making.

Moreton said parents are always curious what their teens have been up to over summer, but often it's during the school year where teens can run into trouble.

"That's when kids have access to children supplying the drugs and alcohol, so it's not just a summer time thing, it's year-round. The peer pressure is there after school," Moreton added.

Moreton said a change in emotions, behaviors and habits are all signs your teen could be using. Especially if they're becoming combative, or in some cases more withdrawn.

Of course, that's not always the case and there could be other reasons for a change in behaviors. Moreton said a drug test could be the first step in addressing what's going on.

"If it's not positive, then you can seek other help, go to a physician and find out what's really going on to protect your kids and figure out what they need," Moreton said.

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