Most Doctors Oppose Drug Testing
Recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions have resulted in recommendations for adolescent drug testing in schools, and products made available for parents to test their children at home. An addendum to the 1996 AAP Policy Statement, "Testing for Drugs of Abuse in Children and Adolescents," opposes involuntary drug testing of adolescents at school or at home and believes more research is needed on both the safety and effectiveness before testing programs are implemented.
Laboratory testing for drugs is a scientifically complex procedure, which may be prone to both false-positive and false-negative tests.
Drug testing should only be carried out by professionals with special training in the procedure; most pediatricians have not been adequately prepared to do this.
The majority of physicians surveyed in the 2006 Journal of Adolescent Health (83 percent) disagreed with drug testing in public schools, which can be perceived by adolescents as an unwarranted invasion of privacy.
The AAP encourages parents who are concerned their child may be using drugs or alcohol to consult their child's pediatrician rather than rely on school or home-based drug testing products.