Pubdate: Sat, 20 Jul 2002
Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Copyright: 2002 Chicago Tribune Company
Author: Anne Marie McCormack and Anne F. Gauthier


Anne Marie McCormack

Brookfield -- Letter writers James Gierach's "Parents who oppose drug test 
have few options" and Brian Bennett's "Drug testing" (Voice of the people, 
July 10) illustrate two of the (myriad) reasons I am so glad I don't have 
children: I'd have to expose them to and, perhaps more difficult, try to 
explain the moronic policies of the adults in charge.

Supreme Court decision aside, random drug testing is a violation of student 

The irony of the ruling allowing testing of those involved in 
extracurricular activities, of course, is that high school drug abusers 
tend not to participate. Those teens who are both experimenting with 
illicit materials and considering joining marching band or the school 
newspaper now will opt not to join anything in order to avoid the risk of 
drug tests. Thus, instead of spending their after-school hours under the 
guidance of an adult and in the company of the fellow students least likely 
to be drug users, they will choose to continue to hang out with their 
also-uninvolved friends.

Baby Boomers are probably the Americans who used drugs more than any other 
generation of teenagers. I find it amazing that now that they are running 
the schools, they are so intolerant of what they did so enthusiastically 
themselves. Today's teens have more reason not to trust anyone over 30 than 
did the youth originally so vocal in that belief.
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Drug Treatment

Anne F. Gauthier

Evanston -- About drug testing in the schools, I think it will be doing our 
youth a favor. I work in a treatment center for alcoholism and other drug 
dependency--Hazelden Chicago. Most of our patients are in mid-life, but 
when a person in the late teens or early 20s comes into treatment, the 
older patients invariably say, "I wish I had gotten help when I was your 
age so I could have started a better life sooner."

Drug testing can help identify the approximately 10 percent of youth who 
are biologically vulnerable to drug dependency and encourage them to get 
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