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Parents use drug-sniffing dogs to monitor kids

Some parents are going above and beyond, hiring drug-sniffing dogs to check out their kids’ bedrooms and other parts of the house.

By Charyn Pfeuffer - MSN Living Editor Feb 4, 2013 8:04PM

How far would you go to keep your kids drug-free?

Some parents are hiring drug-sniffing dogs to make house calls, reports KSAT.com.

In Texas, trained narcotic detecting dog Roxy and her handler, Kristin Mauer, make house calls as part of a service called Confido Searches for parents who suspect their kids are using drugs.

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When Peggy Dwyer noticed behavioral differences in her 15-year-old son, she hired Confido Searches to examine her home. After abusing alcohol, her son moved onto pot. So when he completed a stint in residential treatment, Dwyer wanted to make sure nothing was stashed that could cause her son to lapse back into old habits, she told KSAT.com.

When Mauer's drug-sniffing sidekick discovers drugs, she directs parents to search the entire area. “I kind of give them an idea of what they need to do next," she was quoted. For legal reasons, she never comes in direct contact with any drugs.

Roxy has found drugs in the strangest of places – stashed behind air conditioning vents and taped to walls in the attic.

But using a drug-sniffing dog can make matters worse, child psychologist and TODAY contributor Jeffrey Gardere told TODAY.

“Looking for the drugs with a dog, I think, is an overkill,” Gardere told TODAY. “What it comes down to is having a relationship, and I don’t know if you can do that if you’re bringing in drug-sniffing dogs.”

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Drug-sniffing dogs may help detect drugs on the home front, but what about the prevalence of drugs in schools?

Illicit drug use among teenagers has continued at high rates, largely due to the popularity of marijuana reports National Institute on Drug Abuse. Eighty-six percent of American high school students report that some of their classmates use alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs during the school day, cites a 2012 survey by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASAColumbia) in New York.

Drug-sniffing dogs may not be the perfect solution, but for some parents, it may help confirm or deny suspicions without accusing the child of something.

“It’s a tool that the parents can use to help get their child the help that they need," Mauer was quoted. 

Would you ever hire a drug-sniffing dog to search your own home?

Bing: Facts about teens and drug use

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Photo: Roman Sulovsky/Getty Images



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