4. Some tests are confusing. Home kits can be difficult to navigate, says Levy, and to ask parents who have no experience with laboratory medicine to do them correctly is "tough." Moreover, she says, parents have to be pretty sophisticated to know the difference between similar-sounding drug types such as opiates (e.g., heroin) and opioids (e.g., oxycodone). Get the wrong kit, and your results could be meaningless. "Unless you have a really good indication of what your kid is using," says Manlove, "you're really just taking a shot in the dark."
5. They give you limited information. Most drugs clear the system pretty quickly, says Levy, so parents would have a tough time catching a child's occasional use.
6. And they can be costly. A package of home tests can be pricier than a visit to a medical professional. Manlove paid roughly $50 for a six pack of urine tests, though costs vary widely.
7. You're a parent, not the police. Some experts worry that the practice of home drug testing may damage the parent-child bond. "I'm not sure that's the relationship that parents want to have with their kids," says Rogers, who himself is the parent of a former teenage drug abuser (who's now a sober 21-year-old). "They shouldn't be policemen, just parents."