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When my kids were in high school I instituted random drug testing at my house. It was really cheap to set up and I feel like in the long run, I was saved an incalculably amount because one of my kids lived in the "gray". My teens were normal everyday teens with the usual number of friends, made decent grades and all.
After the first random test (did I mention how shocked my son was?), my son had a friend that I saw daily at my house that never came again; we just never saw him again. I asked my son and he always said "I don't know what happened to him".
About 2 years later I read his obituary in the newspaper, he had committed suicide in a drug rehab program. By all accounts, he was a normal teen with the usual number of friends and he also and made good grades.
Now that my son is grown I ask him about the random testing (we had about 3 in all). He said he was so mad at me at first, but he was able to use it as an excuse to not use drugs because he had random testing at his house.
My grown son tells me now that he thinks I was pretty smart. But he has challenged me and asked what would I have done. I just smile and tell him I would have tied him to his bed until he was 24 and we laugh together.
Source: A mom's intuition.
Perhaps you could share with us how you do random drug testing (genuine non sarcastic request), living in the UK I know of nothing I could buy in a chemist which would allow me to detect cannabis, ecstacy, etc. in urine (how on earth would you get a sample?) or is it a salvia test? There's no way it could be a blood test, if its a mouth swab where do you buy the testing kit?
Personally I would expect a teenager to have the strength of character to say No anyway, and to support those that can't/won't/don't.
The only way forward is education about drugs and a good relationship with your teenager and even then some fall off the rails. Luckily for you you didn't get a positive result! I'm not sure fear of a parent finding out is a deterrent.
Many thanks (parent of 3 teenagers)
cazpumpkin, here's a good online store with some good info, too :-) I would venture to bet that if you asked a local pharmacist, their store carries them and maybe for less money. Home drug tests can be done the same as a doctors office would do and it can be urine or saliva. If you opt for urine, you just have to make sure that the bathroom door is open to make sure your child isn't tainting or switching the urine sample.
Notwrong, good for you! My extra suggestion would be to start the drug testing as early as the end of elementary school. The children are starting with drugs and alcohol use as early as the fourth and fifth grade these days.
As a heads up for everyone, here's my story so you know it's not just other kids supplying drugs and alcohol and although my story is from the late '60's, it's the same scenario today if not worse nowadays:
When I was fourteen (1968) my parents divorced and mom moved my brother and I from Seattle to the Pacific Palisades in Los Angeles. Within a couple of months all of a sudden there were people, including my mom, smoking pot, taking various drugs and drinking all the time. Everyone, including our mom, offered my brother and I and even our friends stuff all the time :-( We resisted for quite a few months but in the end I did start smoking pot and, sadly, my brother was more experimental :-( He is now 53 years old and lives in a halfway house in Florida :-(
My point is, my mom was an upper class business woman and no one on the outside of the home/friend circle would ever have guessed her drug and alcohol use nor would they have believed for one minute that drugs and alcohol were being offered to their children by a respected neighbor :-(
I"m not sure how I feel about this. I find parents just don't talk to their kids about these things. "Say No to Drugs" isn't enough. My parents were very liberal when it came to raising us. They let us experience life and make our own mistakes, try all kinds of things that teenagers want to try, but educated us at the same time. So we were both smart enough not to get in over our heads with our indulgences. Education is KEY! I don't see anything wrong with experimenting with things, as long as you are educated about it.
Although this isn't something I would ever do, I realize that some children might need this kind of structure. I just know this would have never been good for my brother or I. We were allowed to do many things, and because we were allowed, we didn't. No fun to do stuff you're allowed to do, right? Just my two cents. :)
I know you're going to catch a lot of flack for "invading" their privacy and not allowing them to make their own choices but I applaud you. It is the responsibility of each parent to do almost whatever they can to help kids grow up right. My parents were very strict and I had moments when I heaved the heavy sighs and rolled the eyes...where they could see me but I had sighs of relief when I was able to tell people, "my parents would kill me if I ....".