What You Need to Know About Drug Testing in Schools.
For several years, and in growing numbers in Texas and throughout the country, schools have been taking a stand against drug abuse by implementing responsible student drug testing programs. The primary purpose of drug testing is not to punish students who use drugs, but to deter use and guide those who test positive into counseling or treatment.
A generation ago only 10% of children age 12 were exposed in one way or another to drugs of abuse. Today, it is approaching 50%. The younger a person is exposed to drugs, the higher the chance to become addicted as adults.
Drug & Alcohol Testing Compliance Services has been committed to keeping our youth drug-free for over 25 years. In June 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court broadened the authority of public schools to test students for illegal drugs. Testing has been shown to be extremely effective at reducing drug use in schools all over the country. As a deterrent, few methods work better or deliver clearer results.
Why Drug Test Students?
Scientists have recently discovered that the brain is not fully developed in early childhood, as was once believed. Introducing chemical changes in the brain by using illegal drugs can have far more serious adverse effects on youth than on adults.
Marijuana’s effects, for example, are not confined to the “high”; the drug can also cause serious problems with memory and learning, as well as difficulty in thinking and problem solving. 1 in 8 high school seniors admitted to driving under the influence of marijuana.
- Educates school representatives on implementing and maintaining an active, successful program.
- Dispatches mobile collectors and coordinates regional collection sites for your facility.
- Provides quick and confidential online access to test results, random lists, and other management tools
- Customizes the program for your school with a variety of drug detection testing such as urine, hair, oral fluids and others.
Note: Oral Fluids is becoming very popular for student drug testing because it eliminates “shy bladder” and saves time.
- Provides Medical Review Officer services as needed
- Can customize your drug testing policy, which is the keystone of any effective drug testing program.
The Office of National Drug Control Policy1 reports a 24% reduction in youth drug use since 2001. As communities, we need to be committed to improving this statistic. Random student drug testing is an integral part of this commitment. By implementing drug testing in our schools, we can identify and intervene with early age drug users to prevent usage altogether.
Drug testing has proven to be a highly effective deterrent to drug use in schools. It is also a great way to identify individuals who need help. Students subject to drug testing have a built-in reason to say no when offered drugs, even in the face of extreme peer pressure. Some students, by nature of their participation in extracurricular activities such as sports, cheer leading and band, are natural role models to other students, and drug testing helps ensure that they set a proper example.
When a school adopts a drug testing program, it sends a clear message:
Drug abuse is not tolerated here!
Drug testing by itself is not the solution. It is most effective when part of a comprehensive program that typically includes five key components:
- Written policy.
- Teacher and administrator training.
- Student drug education.
- Drug and alcohol testing.
- Student assistance.
Starting a student drug testing program is a serious undertaking, but it does not have to be difficult. Many school administrators indicate that the biggest roadblock they face is in knowing where to start. Here are six easy steps you can follow to start a comprehensive drug testing program.
- Write a Drug Testing Policy.
- Identify Your Drug Testing Objectives.
- Enlist parental and community support
- Choose a Drug Testing Provider.
- Decide How to Conduct Drug Testing.
- Train Teachers and Administrators
- Educate Students.
Your list of reasons for drug testing may include any all or some the following:
- To establish a safer learning environment.
- To reduce at-school accidents.
- To improve the health and well-being of students.
- To eliminate crime, including theft and violence, at school.
- To reduce the number of dropouts.
- To decrease absenteeism.
- To improve students’ academic performance.
- To enhance your school’s public image.
More information on funding for your school’s program and other advocacy for school drug testing, please visit the following links:
- U.S. Department of Education Information on School-Based Student Drug-Testing Programs http://www.ed.gov/programs/drugtesting/index.html
- Student Drug Testing Coalition Student Drug Testing Coalition
- Prevention Not Punishment http://preventionnotpunishment.org/
- National Student Assistance Association http://www.nsaa.us/
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