It is found that some schools follow workplace models where they conduct a random drug test or a reasonable cause testing. This involves collecting urine for testing drugs such as opioids found in prescription drugs or heroin, marijuana, amphetamines, and cocaine. These students are smart and think that passing a drug test is easy stuff.
Regardless of the students’ history, the authority of schools to do random testing for drugs was broadened in June 2002, especially when the students want to participate in extracurricular activities. This is done not to punish the students when the results turn out to be positive; rather, it is for the sake of prevention for future drug use or intervention for them to start a recovery process when the students are already addicted.
Drug testing is found to promote a drug-free school, and it kickstarted a more comprehensive school policy to combat substance abuse. But is it necessary?
Drug Testing: The Benefits
Many schools have integrated a drug-free student testing program. It is important to know the legalities and the threshold as to what point is allowable for drug tests. Schools or school districts are advised to seek legal advice so as to comply with federal, state, and local laws.
With this practice, schools have found a positive impact including a reduction of drug-related problems between students. This gives power for the students to say no under peer pressure. Here are some of the benefits:
- It promotes a safe environment for students to say “no” by fostering positivity. Schools set clear rules, and teachers are encouraged to form respectable relationships with their students. Doing this deters peer pressure and empowers the student to refuse substance use.
- It helps schools identify students who have been abusing drugs at an early stage. With this awareness, schools can offer better support and direct the student to the right treatment programs or set them up on a path to recovery.
- It protects and nurtures the students to lead a healthy lifestyle. Getting to know about the adverse effects of substance abuse will help students determine the long term effects to avoid anxiety, depression, and even mood swings.
Although there are students who employ some cheats to find out how to pass a drug test. They may smuggle in someone else’s urine sample and pose it as their own; getting creative on how to ensure that the samples are legit should also be taken notice.
It is important to be vigilant in keeping a safe and drug-free environment for all students, especially high-school students, as their brains are still in the development stages. Some of the short term consequences include:
- Poor academic performance
- Poor judgment
- Risky behavior
- Mood changes
The downside in maintaining these random drug tests may be costly for the school, but the prevention of substance abuse cannot be done by this alone. Getting serious in creating a comprehensive program for drug-related issues, nurturing a supportive environment, and having the community involved in this goal will surely help adolescents see the pitfalls of substance abuse and help them make the best decisions towards a healthier life.