Testing for Drugs of Abuse in Children and Adolescents
- Committee on Substance Abuse
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recognizes the abuse of psychoactive drugs as one of the greatest problems facing children and adolescents and condemns all such use. Diagnostic testing for drugs of abuse is frequently an integral part of the pediatrican's evaluation and management of those suspected of such use. "Voluntary screening" is the term applied to many mass non-suspicion-based screening programs, yet such programs may not be truly voluntary as there are often negative consequences for those who choose not to take part. Participation in such programs should not be a prerequisite to participation in school activities. Involuntary testing is not appropriate in adolescents with decisional capacity—even with parental consent—and should be performed only if there are strong medical or legal reasons to do so. The AAP reaffirms its position that the appropriate response to the suspicion of drug abuse in a young person is the referral to a qualified health care professional for comprehensive evaluation.
- Copyright © 1996 by the American Academy of Pediatrics