What Happens If Your Teen Fails A High School Drug Test?

To many parents, a failed drug test report from their teen’s school is better imagined than real.

With rising teenage drug abuse reports, high schools are conducting drug tests now, than ever.

Typical penalties for such failed drug tests may include:

  • Suspension from school
  • Removal or suspension from their activity group
  • Reoccurring drug test within a specific duration
  • Community service
  • Drug counseling/education course

A failed-drug-test-news would come as a shock to parents, particularly if you, priorly, could’ve sworn your teen was ‘clean.’

However, if your teen fails a high school drug test, here are actionable steps to help you – and your teen – through this difficult phase.


Calm your nerves

Yes, it’s naturally a hard pill to swallow. But try to get yourself back and reflect on what’s happening, first. At this stage, don’t be too quick to confront your teen or their school officials.

You may feel messed up – mad, confused, and what have you. Still, try to be in full charge of your emotions.

Ask about the drug test

Besides the particular substance that ruined your teen’s test, do your homework on the testing procedure and everything it entailed – including the lab and the persons involved.

After all, THC from one joint can stay in the system for a while, as medsignals.com wrote, and it’s not necessary a sign of marijuana addiction.

Know what the law says

While the United States’ Supreme Court recognizes these drug tests, legalities across lower jurisdictions vary.

For instance, the district, municipality, and state of your teen’s school may have additional provisions on school drug testing. And importantly, know your right or that of your kid in that situation.

Discuss with an administrator

Having known the severity of the crime and the legal concerns, reach out to an administrator – and, perhaps, the school’s sports supervisor/coach.

This helps bring all the active players – coach, group sponsor, school admin, etc. – on the same page.

Discuss with other parents

Remember, it’s most likely other kids came out dirty. If you know other parents whose children did, whether presently or past, it may help to reach out. Their experience could be insightful.

Now, talk with your teen

Now, it’s time to hold a calm discussion with your kid. Find out what they are battling. Give them time to speak and hear them out without being judgmental.

Don’t encourage excuses

Expectedly, in most cases, your teen would want to pass on the bulk. You may get an excuse like the result was mistaken; they ingested the smoke passively, or they may even protest the drug test.

Don’t try to counter them, but never validate their excuses.

Instill discipline

A matching punishment should come next. No, the school’s penalty shouldn’t be the sole consequence of their action. As a parent, you should impose a deserving discipline – and insist.

Reiterate your intolerance for drug use.

Make your kid understand why you’re cynical about drug use. Enlighten them on possible criminal charges, substance addiction, and dependence, and unproductivity in practically all spheres of life.

Help them become better thereafter

The aftermath of a failed drug test could affect your child in so many ways. Moving forward, if the school fixed a date for your child’s resumption, you have an active role to play as they build up to rejoin their mates.

Wrap up

Although a failed drug test can be a blow to you (the parents) and your teen, rightful handling is all that matters thereafter.

Consider this a learning process – in love, point them to their errors, allow them serve necessary punishments and let the past be in the past for good.

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