Teen Drug and Alcohol Testing

Teenage drug and alcohol use:  it’s a problem.

It’s not a new problem; for decades America has struggled to keep its young generations off of drugs and out of the liquor cabinets. And while many strides have been made to reduce illegal drug and tobacco use, issues still remain amongst many adolescents and college students.

What’s especially concerning is the introduction of “new” drugs like synthetic drugs and bath salts (which are way more toxic), and the rise of teenagers also abusing prescription drugs.

How common is teenage drug use today?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has monitored adolescents and college students since 1975 and publishes a yearly survey called “Monitoring the Future” which illuminates teenage drug use.

In the 2016 survey, it found:

  • “The percentages of students seeing great risk of smoking marijuana regularly is at or near the lowest point ever recorded in the study—58%, 44%, and 31% in grades 8, 10, and 12, respectively.”
  • “Young people are less concerned about the dangers of using prescription drugs outside of medical regimen because they are widely used for legitimate purposes.”
  • “The use of so-called “bath salts” (synthetic stimulant cathinones) rose significantly (but just by 0.5% to 0.9%) among 8th graders in 2016. Similarly, cough and cold medicines used to get high (which usually contain dextromethorphan) rose significantly among 8th graders to an annual prevalence of 2.6%”
  • “Alcohol remains the substance most widely used by today’s teenagers.”

Read the full survey:  2016 Monitoring the Future survey

How to test teens for drugs and alcohol

Whether you’re a parent searching for truthful answers or a caseworker, social worker or professional working with juveniles – Test Smartly Labs can help. We have experience in testing teens for drug and alcohol use and can help you get to the bottom of things – quickly.

For advice on how to proceed and to learn your options, contact us today.