When it comes to being intrusive and violating kid’s privacy, Nigerian parents deserve the Ballon d’Or. The way Nigerian Parents react to finding out their kids smoke weed is akin to finding out they have a murderer in their household. I won’t be going into emotional blackmail, gaslighting, et al. but getting drug tested by them is quite as high up the ladder of exasperation.
Drug testing damages trust, kids can’t look at their parents the same after they’ve been forced to pee in a cup. Whether the result comes out positive or negative, some resentment will continue to linger in the air unless appropriately addressed. And because it’s possible to cheat drug tests, they don’t necessarily stop anyone from doing drugs, they just get more creative and dishonest.
So what’s it like actually being in this precarious position? I interviewed a couple of people who’ve been drug-tested by their parents and the stories, in typical Nigerian parent fashion, go from zero to a hundred real quick.
*Aliases have been used to protect the privacy of people whose privacy has already been invaded.
Marty McFly (M, 22)
After crossover service January 1 2017, I was smoking with my brothers after church and one of my “aunties” told my mum. But the way she told me, she said that when she was praying in church earlier she had a vision of me doing drugs. Then lo and behold, I had to go take a drug test.
The first time was alright, the people there were quite nice but it was weird cause I had to pee and one of the nurses made me face him so he could see me pee. That shit was mad uncomfortable. The whole thing has lasted three years, sometimes it was only when I was back in naij, but there were couple times where they would send my uncle to test me in uni, like he’ll just pull up and knock on my door, one time he even came when I was with a girl. When that wasn’t enough, they hired a private investigator to follow me.
I feel genuine resentment now, whenever they wanna bond with me I feel so uncomfortable. Being around them makes me sick, no lie. I just gotta firm it till after uni so that they’ll let me go to Canada. Then once I go there I’ll get permanent residency and just not go back. But until then, I just gotta manage.
Jeff Lebowski (F, 22)
My dad found out I was smoking from my uncle, the drug test was a surprise really. I was staying with my mum in the hospital after she’d been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and my dad comes into her room and is like “You should get a check-up too, to know if you have it as well” I didn’t argue and went to the doctor’s office. The doctor was like whenever he sees new teenage patients he always likes to do a drug test to make sure they aren’t on any drugs. I knew I was positive because I had smoked that morning lmao, but I was like fuck it, he already knows so what is really the point.
I did the urine test knowing fully well that I’d be positive for marijuana and when the results came I was. My dad was telling the doctor to please advice me, and I kept saying that I’m not a child and you people should be able to trust someone’s decision-making skills when it concerns their own life. It’s just marijuana guys. I was negative for all the other drugs because I only smoke weed.
I later found out it was a set up between the doctor and my dad because the man wasn’t writing anything down while he was evaluating me for bipolar disorder and didn’t bring it up again. Also, my dad tried to do the same thing with my junior brother months later.
The entire ordeal made me feel shortchanged, the fact that he had to lie to me. this was like 2 years ago and they’ve since accepted who I am. I don’t rub it in their faces but they aren’t surprised when I smell like smoke.
Tayo Tyler (M, 25)
I was suicidal in university and I can remember going through a really hard time in my year three. I had a bad panic attack one day and broke down, I needed someone to talk to so I spoke to my aunt. I was hysterical on the phone sounding crazy and she asked me if I was smoking in school and I said yes, not knowing she was going to make that a big deal (because she was the cool aunt and we already had a discussion about weed before that).
Anyway, she tells my dad about the suicide thing and he tells me to come home. While I’m home my dad says I should meet up with my aunts in his office and we’ll have a round table discussion about what I’m going through. The day of the meeting comes, I’m there trying to share my emotions, and then right in the middle of the conversation my aunt shouts ‘it’s because of the weed you’re smoking’. My dad picks up on that, turns to me and asks if I smoke weed and I say yes.
We were already in the hospital because my dad’s a doctor but because I told them I had stopped my dad kept having doubts. So after the discussion, he told me to go to a lab and pee just to confirm. So I peed and went home.
He brought the results home (it was obviously positive) and then we had a long talk about how angry and irritated he was at me for doing ‘drugs’ and he’s sure that the reason I’m depressed is that I’m doing the wrong things. This just made me even sadder cause the ‘drugs’ were the only thing keeping me alive. It was crazy for the longest because my dad hates anything smoking, the same as my mum, probably because they’re both surgeons.
He made it known that he was disappointed in me. He brought drug test kits from the pharmacy and would randomly tell me to pee in it. My mum kept calling me and crying about how I’m breaking her heart. All that made me more depressed cause I know for a fact that weed was not my problem, it wasn’t a problem but they made me seem like the devil himself because I smoke some pot.