Hi people! I wanted to get an opinion on what y'all think is right in this situation. My brother's high school is a random drug testing program in which they pull the student out of a class during the year (at random) and test for drugs - but parent's permission is required for enrollment in the program with the school packet turned in at the beginning of the year. Would you all enroll your children in this?
At one end - the drug test is done at random and it has its benefits. On the other hand, I would think that the child might feel the parents don't trust him/her and it might entice the child to do drugs that he/she might not or cause other psychological rifts. On one hand - the child would either know he/she is enrolled in the program or the parent can keep it a secret from the child by going to the school after the packet is turned in and enrolling them in the program this way so the child wouldn't know until he/she is pulled from the classroom and *if since it is based on "random" - but I don't know what is the right decision in this situation and wanted some of your advice...thanks in advance. :)
One doesn't develop a trusting relationship with one's child by assuming a default position of distrust.
It's a difficult call if your child is untrustworthy. Without getting into the blame game, I think the parent should decide whether or not reasonable trust can be (re)established. If not, then that probably means your child has a higher likelihood of drug use or abuse.
Let's face it, many parents don't have the best relationships with their children. Because they work with thousands of kids, the schools know all about parent/child dysfunction and it's connection to drug abuse. For such families, the school is offering to play a vital role in drug abuse intervention. Even if the threat of drug testing doesn't stop your child from doing drugs, it might well reveal that he/she is in fact doing them -- which is something you absolutely need to know about, if that's the case.
I know it's best to have a trusting relationship but having one should not lull you into a false sense of security. We all know kids from our own schools, as we grew up, who did drugs because of curiosity or peer pressure or the desire to fit in . . . not because of poor relationships with their parents. There are no guarantees your child will remain drug free (if he's not already doing drugs without your knowledge).
I was a druggie between the ages of 16 and 30. I've seen good kids loose years of their lives and a few lost their lives altogether. The school is right to be concerned about the problem and to offer whatever intervention, disincentives or assistance they can.
And if you have a typical parent-child relationship with your teen, and decide to take advantage of such a school-sponsored program, you need to tell your children that the threat of drugs in modern society is simply too real to ignore. Let them know the stakes are so high that you'll take any help you can get.
Then keep working on that relatioship . . .
drug tests are all pretty much a big joke. the majority of the drugs they test for only stay in the human system for a couple of days. Really your just testing your child for marijuana use, as this "drug" stays in your system for a good 30 days. Heroin leaves your system in 24 hours. Coke stays in for 2-3 days. Methamphetamine stays in for 3-5 days. MDMA(ecstacy) stays in for only 24 hours. Given this information, i think that signing a child up for random drug testing encourages hard drug use, especially if they know the whereabouts of the testing. "hey, you can take this and get really fucked up and get this, it wont show up on your parent's drug test!"