The advice for "Protective Measures: Tips for Parents on How to Safeguard the Kids" ["One Family's Long Road Back," March 17] failed to include school random drug-testing programs.
Many parents and others involved in youth drug-use preven-tion, including the Office of National Drug Control Policy (randomstudentdrugtesting.org), consider it to be an effective means of prevention and early intervention. Public school random testing of students in extracurricular activities was approved by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2002. Several credible studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of these programs in reducing drug use, not just for the students in the programs but also for the whole student body because of the influence of the program and of the students in extracurricular activities. School random drug-testing programs can be structured to be low cost while still being effective. There is no law enforcement involved in school random testing programs, nor any punishment that would detrimentally affect academics, which continued drug use surely does affect. Students with a positive test only have to miss a few sessions of the extracurricular activity if they test positive, the risk of which is a strong deterrent for youth. For those who use drugs despite the risk of being tested, a positive test provides an alert to parents for early intervention.