ASAM Drug Testing Pocket Guide

Drug Testing Pocket Guide

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20 Part 6: Special Populations Adolescents When to Test Adolescents Î Use drug testing to assist in early identification of substance use in high-risk populations of adolescents including but not limited to those with known past substance use and those in treatment for mental health disorders. Î Drug testing to monitor adolescents in addiction treatment or recovery from an SUD can be performed by providers in primary care. Î When an adult observes symptoms characteristic of substance use in an adolescent, providers should use drug testing as part of an assessment for a possible addiction. Adolescents and Self-reported Substance Use Î Even if an adolescent reports substance use, providers should consider drug testing for additional information because adolescents are less likely to self-report accurately. Adolescents and Home Testing Kits Î Because of a variety of limitations with home drug testing process and interpretation, providers should not encourage the use of home drug testing for adolescents. Adolescent Consent Î Before beginning the drug testing process with an adolescent, providers should explain drug testing protocols in full. Î Drug testing an adolescent without his or her consent is not appropriate, except in emergency situations (e.g., accidents, suicide attempts, and seizures). Î Providers should acquire consent before drug testing an adolescent with symptoms such as school failure, fatigue, or excessive moodiness. Because these are not emergency situations, they are not hazardous enough to warrant skipping this step. Î If an adolescent refuses to consent to a drug test, the provider should clearly document refusal and continue to evaluate the possibility of SUD through other methods and refer the patient to a specialist with additional mental health or substance use expertise.

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