Boston, MA: Home drug testing kits sold online provide insufficient information regarding how to use the products properly, and downplay the possibility of inaccurate results, according to the findings of a study published in this week's issue of the journal Pediatrics.
"Parents who are anxious to know whether their children are using drugs have easy access to kits sold on the Internet. But home drug testing is not consistent with the guidelines of professional medical organizations," the study's lead author, Sharon Levy of Harvard Medical School, said in a prepared statement.
More than 200 types of drug testing products are available for home use, according to WebMD.com, though few of these are FDA-approved.
A total of eight websites that market home drug testing kits were reviewed in the study. "All sites claimed that drug testing was a way to know with certainty whether a child has used drugs," authors wrote. "[Yet,] little information was presented on valid specimen collection procedures and the risk of false-positive and false-negative tests.
"Pediatricians should advise parents of the limitations and potential risks associated with home drug-testing products," authors concluded.
For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of the NORML Foundation at (202) 483-5500. Abstracts of the study, entitled "A Review of Internet-Based Home Drug-Testing Products for Parents," are available online at: