The Reason Why Drug Test for Students is not Effective.

The government allocates money to every public school all over the country. The district has the freedom to choose where to spend this money. Some build additional classrooms, some buy new books, increase the salary of their teachers or buy additional equipment beneficial for the students and teachers of the school. A school district in Carroll County Georgia didn’t spend their money on any of these things. Instead, they are implementing a random drug testing program for their high school students. According to American Academy of Pediatrics, every drug test cost at about $24 a pop. That’s $20,000 for 80 students.

According to the CDCP or Center for Disease Control and Protection, 18{fb9a4be0d6494174e6be9660e119e25a878ea9b5c7f2169440a84f81fc131373} of all public schools in the United States have mandatory drug testing in their program. But not like other schools, Carroll County’s program includes regular students, student-athletes, marching band and student drivers. It might be odd, but according to the supreme court’s decision in 2002, testing students who participate in extra-curricular activities are a legitimate way to address the country’s drug problem in schools.

But according to recent studies, random drug testing is not an effective way to fight drug abuse in schools. In 2003 a study shows that, although random drug screen lowers the marijuana use, it records an increase in the use of other drugs especially prescribed medication. School drug programs don’t usually test the most lethal drug most high school students use, alcohol. And since the program forced students who join extra-curricular activities to be screened, the number of students joining clubs, academic or non-academic decreases. This also opens the student’s personal medical problems to school administration, violating the student’s privacy and constitutional rights. They may face harsh disciplinary actions, suspension or worst, expulsion just by taking prescription drugs prescribed by their doctors.

Because of this, the American Academy of Pediatrics condemns the adoption of these programs into the school system. They said these tests lack valid evidence of its effectiveness and it endangers every student’s safety inside the school premises. Because of this, the National Institutes on Drug Abuse releases a statement saying that because of conflicting findings, student drug testing should undergo further research and should not be the school’s only response when it comes to its drug problems. Another reason why this screening is not effective is that the school administration is not properly trained and lacks the proper facilities to administer this kind of tests. It is just a waste of time and money, according to Sharon Levy, chair of the academy’s committee on substance abuse.

According to Levy, the best and the most effective way to fight substance abuse among teens are abuse education, counseling, and referral to medical professionals or care facilities. She also recommended that the school should conduct a one-on-one talk between the councilors and the parents about the consequences of drug use.

Know more about drug testing and its legality by visiting:

We all know the stigma, drug testing will bring to students. We should tackle this problem using preventive approach. There are different kind of support the school and the parents can give to the victims like psychological counseling, substance abuse classes conducted by the school and most importantly, creating an individualized learning atmosphere for students who suffer these kinds of problems. In one instance, a student with marijuana problems almost dropped out of school, but because of the support the school has given him, he is now attending online classes. Because of the stress, the school is giving him, his only escape is using drugs. Since we eliminate the source of his stress, he can now focus on staying on track remotely.

About Jasper Barbour

Jasper Barbour

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