Posts Tagged random drug test

New Study Shows Drug Testing Helps Prevent Substance Abuse Among Middle School Students

Drug testing may not be commonplace in middle school for the simple reason that drug abuse is not as rampant among middle school students than it is among high schoolers. But a new study suggests that random drug testing middle school students make them less likely to use drug in the future.

school-drug-testingThe study, conducted by The Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey (PDFNJ) and Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind, surveyed more than 3,500 students at New Jersey middle and high schools over a 7-year period. Participating students came from schools with and without random drug testing program.

According to the researchers, only about 1 percent of 8th graders reported ever using illicit drugs, and only about 14 percent reported drinking alcohol. That figure of 14 percent dropped to 6 percent among students who were tested for drugs and alcohol at some point.

“People expect students to say, ‘I’m not going to do drugs now because I might be tested tomorrow,’ but that’s just not how kids and teenagers think,” Dan Cassino, a professor of political science at Fairleigh Dickinson and principal investigator for the study, said in a news release. “What seems to be happening is that students who’ve been tested start to realize what a big deal it is, and stay away from drugs in the future.”

Nowadays, a growing number of high schools are implementing random drug testing for students involved in sports and other extra-curricular activities in the hope of fighting substance abuse in the campus. Although research on the effectiveness of such policy has been mixed, many school officials believe it would be effective in keeping children drug-free.

Angelo M. Valente, Executive Director of the Partnership for a Drug-Free New Jersey, explained that the results of the latest survey “show that student drug testing changes the environment of the school community and show they serve as an effective prevention strategy for the abuse of drugs and alcohol in their future.”

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Random Drug Tests in Schools: Good and Bad Side

Drug testing in schools have always been a controversial issue. Although many have claimed that these measures have drastically lowered the rate of drug users among students, there are also groups that claim the process does more harm than good.

Is it effective?

Teenagers are much more aware now on how to cheat on drug tests. Several resources, printed or online, offer information on how drug tests are conducted and where cheating can be done. When these drug tests fail, they produce a false sense of security to the school and also to the parents.

drug testWhat do Parents Think?

Parents are divided in the issue of random drug testing in school. Some of them would agree that these random drug tests are effective in lessening the occurrences of drug abuse in school. Other parents would argue that there would be no substantial evidence to support these claims. Some parents also say that forcing a child to undergo a random drug test is a form of a threat.

How can it be helpful?

Random drug testing is a great tool for detection of drug abuse among students. These drug tests instill either a sense of responsibility or a sense of fear of getting caught in the student that may cause him or her to avoid from drug use.

How can it be harmful?

Although it is a great way to detect drug abusers, it is not a method of eliminating the issue of drug use. It is still the responsibility of the parents to ensure that their children are away from drugs. Having false results, such as ones caused by tampering or adulteration, may only give parents a wrong basis for discipline as they now think that their children are drug-free. When conducting drug tests, it is of utmost importance that every step is monitored to avoid adulteration or that the method used is tamper-free, such as hair drug tests.

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