Former Teen Mom 2 couple Jenelle Evans and Nathan Griffith have been playing a nasty game of tug-of-war with their son, Kaiser, for a while, but now it seems things may finally be settling down in the pair's custody battle. They've agreed to play nice and co-parent Kaiser amicably in a joint custody agreement, but there's one thing that's still up in the air. Way up in the air, in fact.
A matching set of drug tests.
If you aren't already aware, Evans' past drug use has been a major point of contention for Griffith during the show and their court proceedings, with Griffith accusing Evans of being back on heroin and Evans insisting she was totally clean. The result of that was an agreement that both of them decided to submit to drug tests to finalize their custody arrangements.
But then both somehow convinced a judge that they should skip them... since they're too expensive.
It's a good thing this is all being settled and the child will finally have a stable situation, but on the other hand, shouldn't parents want to undergo these sorts of drug tests in situations like this?
It's honestly the very least people who struggle with addiction can do for their kids — like a built-in insurance policy for staying clean and accountable. If you are clean, there is nothing to fear, and if you are not, then you can get the help you need immediately. If you are the parent that is not currently struggling with an addiction, then it definitely isn't unreasonable for you to want the additional assurance that the person you'll be co-parenting with is clean. That's not petty; it's just good sense.
The idea that the cost for these drug tests was just too prohibitive for Evans and Griffith seems a little, well, disingenuous. There are some really dumb things to spend money on when it comes to your kids, but an assurance that you'll be clean and present isn't one of them.
People make mistakes, it's true. Sadly, drug abuse is often at the top of that list, and it isn't unlikely or even rare for people who get pregnant very young to self-medicate with drugs. If every parent who ever did drugs deserved to have their kids yanked away, there would be a lot of kids on their own out there.
Instead, we treat drug addiction as an illness, which it is. When a parent can work their way through treatment and stay clean, they deserve a second chance. Sometimes even a third. But they get those chances by doing whatever it takes, and sometimes what it takes is peeing in a cup.
But we also aren't talking about a checkered, long-ago past of spliffs and light recreational pill popping here. We're talking about heroin, and anyone who has ever struggled with that particular addiction and its fallout will tell you it isn't an easy habit to drop. It's dangerous, and in a lot of states, it's even considered a public health crisis. People die doing heroin.
Are those people bad people? Nope, just people of the human variety. If they're ready to get clean and are successful at doing so, they don't deserve scorn. But they do deserve a little scrutiny when their children are involved. You can't un-addict yourself from heroin. And if you're really serious about getting clean, for your health or to be a better-equipped and present mother, you've got to be ready to make sure you stay that way, and that includes frequent drug tests.
When it comes to staying in your child's life, it's hard to argue that any cost is too high. But this one is just common sense; it's one of the small things Evans and Griffith could do that really would be in the best interest of their child. And in the end, it's a very small price to pay.
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