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OTTAWA - Sniffer dogs don't just sniff down airports and high schools across the country. Now a company is providing the service for parents worried that their kids are consuming illegal substances.
"I was concerned that my daughter might have gotten drugs because of some personal problems that she had, and I wanted to be there to help her if she was on drugs," said one mother who did not want to be identified.
The mother called Gary Houldsworth and his German Sheppard Bear to search her daughter's bedroom and the rest of the house for drugs, while her daughter was away at school.
Houldsworth is a private investigator who started his business, GH Protection Services, last November with the philosophy "to nip it in the bud before it becomes worse."
If he finds small amounts of drugs, such as a joint, he simply flushes it down the toilet.
But counsellors who work with teenaged addicts warn that it could destroy whatever trust there is in the relationship.
"I think what would be a better alternative is for the parents who are concerned about youth being involved in drugs or alcohol to contact an agency such as (The David Smith Treatment Centre) and speak to a trained counsellor," said Mike Beauchesne, with the centre.
Houldsworth does not think the practice is deceptive and says that it opens the lines of communication.
"Once (kids) are confronted by it, they can talk about it," he told CBC News Online, noting that in some cases, parents told him that the talks were successful in getting their kids to seek help.
I agree that kids shouldn't be doing drugs, but theres nothing worse than showing your kid that you don't trust them.
I agree you, theInvizableman, as I had something very similar happen to me. When I was younger and living with my parents, I had struggles with depression, but my parents interpretted it as doing drugs. Often while I was at school, they would search my room in every nook and cranny, finding personl letters from my friends at school, my private journal and other sensitive things. I remember not wanting to talk to them for a very long time afterward. True that the cops and parents in the article might not be so nosy, but I think that this tactic breeds distrust.