Objective. To review home drug-testing products and the Internet-based recommendations intended for parents.
Methods. A qualitative review of drug-testing products and structured analysis of information presented on company Internet sites were conducted. Eight Internet sites that sold home drug-testing products and contained a “parent’s section” were identified by Ixquick using the search term “home drug testing.” Description and prices of products sold by each Internet site and recommended indications for testing, consent, collection procedures, and follow-up of positive and negative test results were researched.
Results. A variety of drug-testing products were available, including breath and saliva tests for alcohol, a multidrug panel hair test, and a variety of laboratory and instant urine tests. Prices ranged from $2.75 for a single alcohol test to $89.00 for a multidrug combination urine/hair package. A total of 14 indications for home drug-testing were cited; all sites claimed that drug testing was a way to know with certainty whether a child has used drugs. Only 1 web site made a clear statement against testing an adolescent against his or her will. Little information was presented on valid specimen collection procedures and the risks of false-positive and false-negative tests. Only half of the sites recommended that parents consult a professional if a test is positive.
Conclusions. Pediatricians should advise parents of the limitations and potential risks associated with home drug-testing products.