Posts Tagged teen drug test
Being a parent is no easy task, and parents certainly need all the help they could get. When it comes to ensuring that kids are not using illegal drugs, the availability of home testing kits – and the fact that governments are willing to provide them to parents for free – is certainly a big help.
In Missouri, for instance, parents can request for a free drug test to administer to their child in the privacy of their home. James Proctor, Resource Officer for Cameron High School in Cameron, Missouri, shared: “It’s an opportunity for parents to get a free drug test to give their child at home.” He shared further that the free drug test could be requested from the website TestMyTeen.com, which is being run by the state of Missouri.
The system is something that was implemented recently in Cameron. The rest of Missouri will also follow suit soon.
Kristi McIntosh, a health teacher and parent as well, shared: “I think it’s a good idea, that way they can know what their kids are into and can get them help if they need it.”
In addition to being able to help parents, Officer Proctor also pointed out that administering home drug tests may also serve as a deterrent for teens, in terms of giving in to peer pressure regarding drug use. Teens who get tested will be able to say “no” to peers who are trying to get them to do drugs, bringing up the fact that they are getting tested at home.
Student athletes at the Elyria Catholic High School in Ohio will soon be subjected to a mandatory urine drug testing process. The school hasn’t had its share of drug problems yet, but authorities have taken this important step to maintain the population’s safety and health.
Head coach for the school’s football team Michael Polevacik declares the institution’s move as “a statement of how we’re going to conduct ourselves.” All athletes will be required for the testing and 20% of the rest of the students will be randomly screened throughout the year.
Principal Amy Butler says that they have not encountered any objections from the school community about the drug test program. “It’s been well received by student athletes and parents and the school community. And we think it’s a way of encouraging our students to make good decisions about staying healthy.”
There have been oppositions against drug testing of students in the past. In 1995, the US Supreme Court released a ruling that athletes may be tested from drugs, but should not be put under penalty as an individual if results come out positive. The Court defended its ruling by stating that taking urine samples for drug testing from school athletes is not an intrusion to one’s privacy as they usually share locker rooms and even shower together in which the point of privacy is nullified.
There are other schools in the Ohio District which have implemented drug testing procedures earlier. The Olentangy District had the program in the last ten years but unfortunately, the board decided to suspend it at present due to financial constraints.
School season is just around the corner, and a Long Island assemblyman says parents should test their children for drugs, or they won’t be able to enter school at all.
In today’s rising drug abuse cases amon teens, Assemblyman Joseph Saladino has proposed a bill to require parents to get their children tested for drugs, at least annually, before they can go to school. In his CBS interview, Saladino stressed that those who will not go through the process will face the consequence of not being allowed to go to their respective schools.
In his proposal, Saladino says that “9th, 10th, 11th and 12th grades’ parents has to sign a form that is handed into the school district that states they have conducted a drug test on their child, and that they have seen the results.” It’s up to the parents on what to do with the results, which will all be kept highly confidential.
Saladino believes that drug testing of teens will be a helpful tool for parents to determine if their child is in trouble and is in need of help and treatment.
Families of drug abuse victims have expressed their support for the bill. They see the proposal as a means for early detection of drug problems where treatment is still possible before everything becomes too late. The Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, through their representative Jeffrey Reynolds, also favors the bill as it will force the talk between parents and children on drugs which families often take for granted.
Yet there are some parents who say the bill is an outright violation of an individual’s privacy. Others say that the annual testing isn’t enough and will not make any difference to the students. Because they know about the test, kids will just stop using drugs a week before the schedule and they will be able to get away from being detected.
Substance abuse among teens is a sad reality that many parents have to face these days. The good news is that many institutions are helping parents in the fight against teen substance abuse. A grant from the Placer County Deputy Sheriffs’ Association allows parents to now purchase 10-panel drug screening kits and saliva alcohol screening kits at discounted rates.
A 10-panel drug screening test, which could cost around $40 at pharmacies, is available at $10 while a saliva alcohol screening test at $2. With the kits, parents can check for amphetamines, barbituates, benzodiazepines, ecstasy, marijuana, methadone, methamphetamines, opiates and PCP abuse. The tests come with built-in adulteration checks to detect sample tampering, such as diluting the urine sample or adding agents to the urine to alter composition.
The screening tests are available at Chana, Colfax, Del Oro, Granite Bay, Foresthill and North Tahoe high schools, and at Placer County sheriff’s offices in Auburn, Loomis and Tahoe.
Parents can also bring the samples to the Placer County Public Health Lab for a more comprehensive diagnostic testing at a reduced rate. For those worried about the privacy of their families, the Placer County Lab assures that all test results are strictly confidential.
On top of pop quizzes, sixth, seventh and eighth graders in Belvidere, New Jersey might also have to deal with random drug testing. According to a post on CBS New York, the Board of Education will vote on Wednesday on the proposed policy that will subject middle schoolers to drug tests — and school administrators are confident the proposal will pass.
Oxford Elementary School Principal Sandra Szabocsik said “We’re hoping that the students if they’re at say a party or someone’s house or just hanging out somewhere, that they’ll say ‘I don’t want to get involved in drinking or using any drug because tomorrow could be a drug testing day.”
Both parents and students must consent to participation in the program as it is voluntary. A number of parents and students have already signified their interest in the program. Belvidere students who test positive would not be suspended or sent to the police. They would instead undergo in-school counseling or be referred to a rehab facility.
Drug testing is already mandatory at Belvidere High School for students who park on campus, join clubs or participate in athletics.
However, some organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, do not approve of the use of drug tests in schools, stressing that it does not reduce drug abuse among youth. The high cost of drug tests, the high incidence of false positives and the invasion of a child’s privacy have been cited as main arguments against it.
If you were a parent, would you allow your middle school student to undergo random drug testing?
It can certainly be disheartening to realize that we now live in a society where metal detectors are sometimes necessary in public high schools, and where kids are asked to pee in a cup to be tested for drug use. This is, however, reality.
A feature on the Pensacola News Journal shared plans by the Escambia County School Board to take their current efforts towards minimizing drug use in schools even further. As it is, there are drug dog searches being conducted at randomly-chosen high schools and middle schools that are being conducted on a daily basis. On top of that, the school board is in the midst of preparing a drug-testing policy for students.
This is a situation that is undoubtedly not isolated only to Escambia County School Board; other School Boards across America are probably conducting similar discussions and making similar aggressive efforts as well.
In the case of Escambia County, these actions were prompted by statistics that indicated a rise in drug abuse among the young. Between the school years 2008-09 and 2009-10, the number of expulsions due to drugs in schools in Escambia County increased, from 71 to 83. In addition, an analysis of the Florida Youth Substance Abuse Surveys from 2007-2010 revealed that marijuana use among adolescents increased from 15 percent in 2007 to 19 percent in 2010.
It is the hope of the Escambia County School Board that random drug testing will be a helpful addition to the county’s drug awareness plan for its schools, essentially making schools safer.