Monday, May 11, 2009

High School Drug Testing

My town is considering drug testing for students in sports and other "competitive" activities.

This study discusses such programs
and demonstrating that there are good reasons to "just say no" to such drug testing. (This is an ACLU related Study -- see the link below for a Cato Institute study)

Some key points from the study:

• Drug testing is not effective in deterring drug use among
young people;

• Drug testing is expensive, taking away scarce dollars
from other, more effective programs that keep young
people out of trouble with drugs;

• Drug testing can be legally risky, exposing schools to
potentially costly litigation;

• Drug testing may drive students away from extracurricular
activities, which are a proven means of helping
students stay out of trouble with drugs;

• Drug testing can undermine trust between students and
teachers, and between parents and children;

• Drug testing does not effectively identify students who
have serious problems with drugs; and

• Drug testing may lead to unintended consequences, such
as students using drugs (like alcohol) that are more
dangerous but less detectable by a drug test.

This study from the conservative Cato Institute has raised similar questions:

"In this paper, I explore the conditions under which the random drug testing of athletes will lead to the perverse outcome of increased student drug usage. As I will show below, the threat of this policy backfiring is not fanciful, but rather is quite real and should worry policymakers and others who are concerned with the high level of drug use among students. Civil liberties issues aside, the random drug testing of athletes may be a very risky policy innovation."

See also,
in Salon magazine:

Why drug tests flunk

"If the Supreme Court rules in favor of drug testing in public schools, will students come clean? Kids at schools in Indiana, where drug tests rule, say no way.

"Apr 22, 2002 | According to the students at rural Rushville Consolidated High School, there are a dozen ways to pass a drug test. "

[On Edit - 5-13]
I've done more digging and found some "pro testing" websites:

There is, of course, debate as to whether these programs "work" and whether there are potential negative consequences. I'm digging in.....

This site appears to be linked to another site: Which appears to be principally the work of Robert L. DuPont, M.D. -- bio at

The Student Drug Testing Coalition web site reports that “The Coalition is a project of the Drug-Free Projects Coalition, Inc.”

I have not been able to find any information on the internet as to the Drug-Free Projects Coalition, Inc.

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