Is Drug Testing a Violation of My Child's Privacy?

This is a question that plagues many parents who are concerned that their child might be using drugs. The concept of drug testing a child seems completely taboo. Given the current climate for drug use, parents have every right to be concerned about their children. Parents are entrusted with raising and protecting their children until they are 18 and can legally make their own decision. I would argue that parents not only have the right, but the responsibility to do everything in their power to either prevent a child from using drugs or detect and deter them from continued drug use.

If you suspected that your child was doing drugs, wouldn't you want to know for sure? If your child was doing drugs, as a parent, you should want to help them. And for those out there who are paranoid parents, finding out that your child does not do drugs may give you a much needed sense of relief. But if you don't know what's going on in the life of your child, there is not much you can do to either help or encourage them.

I do not want to get too far into a psychological evaluation of the life of a teenager, and how it relates to drug use. However, peer pressure plays a large role in drug experimentation. 45% of Canadians have admitted to using drugs at some point in their life. That means that at one time or another, nearly half the population has engaged in illegal drug activity. When all of your friends are using drugs, it becomes increasingly hard to stand your ground and say no to drug use. After all, the mindset is that, one time is no big deal, or no one will ever find out.

As a parent, you can offer your child an "easy out", from a difficult situation. When their friends ask your child to do drugs, they can say "no, my parents test me". Sometimes, that extra excuse is enough for a teen, who would have ordinarily caved into peer pressure, to stay strong. I would recommend having an open and honest relationship with your child about drugs and the influence in their day to day life. Allow your child to ask questions that might be uncomfortable, without the fear that they'll get in trouble.

If you were to drug test your child and discover that yes, they have been doing drugs you know have the knowledge to proceed further. Have a discussion with your child about the results of the test. If you feel like your child needs help with a substance abuse problem, there are several reputable organizations, waiting to help, such as AADAC. (see the link on side bar)

Drug testing should not been seen as a violation of child's right to privacy. Rather, it should be seen as a parenting tool in the fight against drugs. It seems to me, that society has become so paranoid with intruding on kids right to privacy, or hurting their feelings, that basic common sense has gone out the door. Parents don't want to confront their teens on issues because they do not want to upset them, or perhaps they don't want to deal with truth, when it comes out. Either way, it's time for parents to step up to the plate. Teen drug use is at an all time high, but so is parental apathy. Coincidence? You decide.

Rachel Rae
Director of Marketing
SureHire Inc.
T: 1-866-944-4473

#105, 7611 Sparrow Dr.
Leduc, AB T9E 0H3

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