Drug Testing For Schools
Some parents have requested random drug testing of students; as well, schools are requiring drug testing of students involved in extracurricular activities.
In June 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court broadened the authority of public schools to test students for illegal drugs. The court ruled to allow random drug tests for all middle and high school students participating in competitive extracurricular activities. The ruling greatly expanded the scope of school drug testing, which previously had been allowed only for student athletes.
The primary purpose of drug testing is not to punish students who use illicit drugs but to prevent future illicit drug use and to help students already using become drug-free. If a student tests positive for drugs, schools can respond to the individual situation. For students diagnosed with addiction, parents and a school administrator can refer them to effective drug treatment programs to begin the recovery process.
Why test teenagers at all? According to NIDA (National Institute on Drug Abuse), teens' brain and bodies are still developing, and this makes them especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of drug use. Not all teens use illicit drugs, but for those who do, it can lead to a wide range of adverse effects on their behavior and health. In the short term, even a single use of an intoxicating drug can affect a person's judgement and decision making, resulting in accidents, poor performance in school or sports activities, unplanned risky behavior, and overdose. Long term repeated drug use can lead to serious problems such as poor academic outcomes, mood changes (depending on the drug: depression, anxiety, paranoria, psychosis), and social or family problems caused or worsened by drugs.
Workplace Screening Intelligence works with schools nationwide to offer individual random drug tests for students as well as offering their services to families who are concerned. Additionally, a fundraising effort for PTSO/PTA groups can be utilized through Workplace Screening Intelligence. Please call us to let us know how we can help your school.