EDITORIAL: Drug Testing harms our youth
In recognition of the Sunday News commendable article “Drug tests in schools pass/fail?”, we are reprinting the below text from a public service advertisement by Common Sense for Drug Policy (CSDP.org) that appeared in a half dozen magazines of political opinion a couple of years ago:
- Since marijuana remains detectable for as long as a month (while alcohol, heroin and cocaine are detectable for only a day or two), testing will encourage students and workers to switch to more dangerous drugs. Can you imagine anything dumber?
- The most effective method of preventing adolescent drug use is keeping youths active and learning after school when many parents are working and kids are not supervised. Why would we want to put up barriers to kids participating in after-school activities?
- The most effective schools put in place a student assistance program that allows youngsters to anonymously seek or be referred to counseling if they show signs of problems. Shouldn’t students perceive school administrators as their mentors rather than an extension of the police?
- Based on the 9% of schools that have some form of drug testing, the National Research Council reports: “There is no scientific evidence regarding the effects of these programs, either on drug use or on the learning environment.”
- One school system rejected testing when it found it would cost $8 million annually to test the 75,000 athletes at its 171 high schools. That’s $46,000 per high school . . . $106 per student tested.
Let’s Keep Our Kids Busy, Monitor Their Performance and Communicate.