Kids using drugs is nothing new to Amsterdam pediatrician Dr. Govind Rao: he says he’s been dealing with the issue for 20 years.
And the problem has gotten worse, not better, with statistics showing illegal drug use is up among teenagers-and they’re starting at younger ages. Rao says he’s had patients as young as 13 who had been on drugs…and were also sexually active. State Senator Cecilia Tkaczyk is proposing a voluntary drug testing program for kids aged 12 to18–for parents who request it from their pediatrician. The bill would provide full coverage for the tests with no copays, and results would remain strictly confidential.
Rao believes it would be effective, because kids would think twice before trying illegal drugs, knowing they might be tested and get in trouble with their parents.