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Parents of ADHD Teens and Young Adults

Pediatrician demanding drug test for my 15 yr old

We had a recent visit to my son’s pediatrician at his request.  He’s the prescribing physician for his stimulant meds to treat his ADHD.  He stated new government regulations require my son to submit a urine sample for drug testing.  He asked to speak to my son alone and told him if he was doing any drugs they would show up in the test.  We had to sign a form stating if he was abusing his adhd medication the doctor has grounds to discontinue prescribing.

Has anyone else had this experience with their child?  I’ve tried to search new regs for controlled substances (which his adhd meds are) and can find nothing.


Have not heard this at all. Our Psychiatrist continues prescribing stimulant meds w/o drug testing.

In your shoes, I would ask said physician to show me the new regs before I would allow my child to be drug tested.

Posted by MariaEC on Jan 18, 2014 at 5:29pm

Yes, that’s what I should have done.  (The whole hindsight thing..) I’m going to call the office and get copies of whatever it is he’s referring to today. 

Thanks for your response.

Posted by nikitasmom on Jan 18, 2014 at 5:32pm

C’mon parents…..what’s the harm in allowing the physician to require a drug test? What are you afraid of? Better to be PROactive than Reactive if he is using street drugs.Not only that but it would indicate whether or not the ADD drugs are in his system or if he may be SELLING them to kids at school. There are so many PROS to doing the drug test and not a single CON I can think of.  Now is the time to nip it in the bud. I would not have a problem with them requiring my son to take random urine tests. Regs or no regs, it’s just good parenting!

Posted by BlessedinMN on Jan 18, 2014 at 7:20pm

Have not heard of this either…..I also would ask to see paperwork.  As for Blessed’s comments:  I guess I understand your thought, but if it’s good for kids then it should be done for EVERY condition.  Lots of people mis-use their prescriptions for all kinds of diseases, not just ADHD.  Besides the remark about “using ANY drugs” is what makes me wonder about this request.

Posted by greyhairedmom on Jan 18, 2014 at 8:31pm

I haven’t seen any changes. Perhaps the physician is required to do this if he suspects drug abuse? I would certainly ask the physician about this, but I also agree with Blessed. I have an ADHD teenager who developed and conquered a substance abuse problem.It is very common among ADHD teens. Having a doctor care about and assist with a potential problem is a great thing. My teen recklessly experimented with drugs while on ADHD meds, and it got out of control. She is clean and thriving now, with the help of a doctor who helped us through that time. She loves and relies on the help she gets from her ADHD meds, and would never sell them, but knows many teens who do.

Posted by mcat on Jan 18, 2014 at 8:51pm

Forget about whether it should be done and do it.

If he’s using, especially pot, you need to know sooner rather than later.  My son went from being a kid who got into all of the colleges to which he applied (including BU) to a kid who flunked out of school. Twice. Now he’s home with no direction, a part-time job in the local dept store, and a loser girlfriend who we’re expecting to show up pregnant one of these days.

Use this is an excuse to have him drug tested. And no, you really won’t know if he’s using otherwise.

Posted by ADDedValue62 on Jan 19, 2014 at 6:18am

The point is not about whether testing ADHD kids for other drugs is a good idea or not. The issue here is that if a Dr tells me that new regulations require it, I will ask to see those regulations. If the Dr suspects drug abuse from my child, then I want that to be made clear too. If the Dr. knows from his/her experience that drug abuse is rampant, then that needs to be communicated. I am just not simply going to buy “new regs” as a reason to test my child or myself.

Posted by MariaEC on Jan 19, 2014 at 6:46pm

Keeping my location as non-specific as I can while responding, in Canada I am on medication for chronic pain and have been taking Diazepam for anxiety for decades (also, this was pre recent ADHD, adult, testing which I’m not yet ready to discuss). In early to mid-2013 my doctor gave me that same speech, only adding that it’s his responsibility to perform such random tests among his patients if he wants to keep prescribing controlled medications.  My first urge and reaction was indignation and I blew up on him (verbally).  He explained he was not accusing me of anything and I later calmed and considered the issue: since I do only take what I am prescribed and I do want him to continue to care for me I decided random tests were not meant as personal.  Also, after a few of them over about 4-months he stopped checking.  When I asked about that he said he’s only required to perform x number of tests per x number of patients, though I am not sure if he included a time period or not, and he does.  Might be that that’s the same in your son’s case?  In any case I wish both you and your son a resolution you both find acceptable.

Posted by Hadley on Jan 20, 2014 at 3:42am

This may have more to do with the physician than with the child.  Drug misuse and/or the combining of “street drugs” with ADD medications is not new, but more and more prescribers are tightening their own requirements for those who are in treatment with them. 

If the doctor suspects that the child is using the ADD meds inappropriately, or if he/she detects changes that are unexpected, then the doctor needs to know before prescribing any medications at all.

You might also contact your pharmacy to find out if there are new requirements for the type of drug being prescribed.  Pharmacies know the rules, too.

Posted by Dianne in the Desert on Jan 20, 2014 at 7:01pm

My friend’s daughter was also told by her doctor she had to be drug tested monthly while on adderall because it was a requirement! My son has never been drug tested by any of his more than 5 prescribers that he’s had in close to 4 years. No one has even hinted at it and he told one of them that he did smoke pot occasionally.

Maybe it’s because your son’s doctor is a pediatrician? All my son’s prescribers were either psychiatrists or nurse practioners working with psychiatrists. My friend’s daughter is seen by a family physician. Maybe they’re more sheepish about prescribing controlled substances.

Posted by Mom2ADDSon on Jan 21, 2014 at 1:54am

Do you live in Kentucky?  There is no Federal law i am aware of, but Kentucky has a state law (

I would call the EEOC and say you believe your pediatrician is discriminating against your son for his disability. If it is Law, they will let you know.  And I would change your pediatrician, if it is not the law and report him to the state medical board, for impersonating a federal officer and unreasonable search and seizure violations under the constitution.

If it is the law in your state, then I would be lobbying my rep. ADD/ADHD is hard enough to deal with as a parent without nonsense from a profession that should be supporting and helping us!

Good luck!

Posted by TecchieTeach on Jan 23, 2014 at 7:31am

I wouldn’t have a problem with it.  I often wished my son’s dr would drug test him.  I understand feeling uncomfortable if you do not think the dr was being honest.  Outside of that concern, I think it’s a great idea for drs, especially pediatricians, to be proactive about monitoring drug use or abuse when they are prescribing medications to children.

Posted by ngfield on Jan 23, 2014 at 9:15pm

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