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Teenage drug tests "unreliable and dangerous"

Teenage drug tests "unreliable and dangerous"

Green MP Nandor Tanczos today criticised the marketers of a new home drug-test kit, saying that they were unreliable and would harm family relationships.

A urine drug test kit, called DrugCheck5 and marketed by Prove It, went on sale today aimed at the parents of 13 to 17 year-olds.

"These products will give false positives, leading parents to falsely accuse and punish their children for something they haven't done. That will cause irreparable damage to some families," said Nandor, the Green Youth Affairs spokesperson.

"Similarly, they can make parents think that their children do not use drugs when they in fact do. This company is highly irresponsible in profiting from parents genuine concerns about their children.

The only reliable drug test is gas chromatography mass spectrometry, as conducted by ESR. These tests are considerably more expensive than the home tests and take days rather than minutes for a comprehensive result.

Five minute immunoassay tests like DrugCheck5 are subject to false positives and false negatives.

"The other danger is that because amphetamines and opiates are metabolised quickly, they are less detectable. These kits make it more likely that some people will use hard drugs."

Nandor rejected claims the tests were pro-family and warned that the opposite would be more likely.

"The kits will drive the wedge of alienation between a teenager and their parents. I am particularly concerned at the inference made by Prove It that if a teenager refuses to take the test, then their parents have something to suspect.

"To be forced to piss in a bottle while parents watch is degrading and will lead to long term resentment."

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