Pubdate: Wed, 10 Sep 2003
Source: Nixa News-Enterprise (Nixa, MO)
Copyright: 2003 Ozarks Newstand
Author: Scott Russ
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)
Bookmark: (Youth)



In response to the article on drug testing students that participate
in extracurricular activities, the most comprehensive test of its kind
has just been completed by the University of Michigan. Briefly, "The
new federally financed study of 76,000 students nationwide, by far the
largest to date, found that drug use is just as common in schools with
testing as in those without it.'

The Michigan study was financed through grants from the National
Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health, as
well as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which supports drug
testing in schools.

Student involvement in after-school activities has been shown to
reduce drug use.

They keep kids busy during hours they are most likely to get into

Forcing students to undergo degrading urine tests will only discourage
participation in extracurricular activities.

Drug testing may also compel users of relatively harmless marijuana to
switch to harder drugs to avoid testing positive.

Despite a short-lived high, marijuana is the only drug that stays in
the human body long enough to make urinalysis a deterrent.

Marijuana's organic metabolites are fat-soluble and can linger for

The most commonly abused drug and the one most closely associated with
violent behavior is almost impossible to detect with urinalysis.

That drug is alcohol, and it takes far more student lives every year
than all illegal drugs combined.

Instead of wasting money on counterproductive drug tests, schools
should invest in reality-based drug education.

Scott Russ

Baton Rouge, La.
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