Pubdate: Wed, 11 Jun 2003
Source: Decatur Daily (AL)
Copyright: 2003 The Decatur Daily
Author: Deangelo McDaniel, DAILY Staff Writer
Bookmarks: (Drug Testing) (Oxycontin/Oxycodone)


HARTSELLE - The Hartselle Board of Education may expand its
drug-testing policy to include OxyContin.

But before making a final decision, the board will listen to proposals
from companies that perform drug testing.

"I have talked with my physicians and other people in the profession
and the number one problem today is OxyContin," board member Ronnie
Abercrombie said.

Abuse on the Rise

"This is one area that I have a lot of concern with," he added. "The
physicians I talked with said they are seeing more OxyContin in tests
than anything else."

Hartselle instituted its drug-testing policy almost a year ago for
students who participate in extracurricular activities.

The system has one of the most extensive testing policies in the area,
but Hartselle does not test for OxyContin.

Superintendent Lee Hartsell said he would invite drug-testing
companies to the board's July work session.

Other Changes Considered

Hartsell said coaches and club sponsors have recommended that the
board test at least 5 percent of the students in each activity each

By doing random tests, the superintendent said some activities went as
long as three months without having a student tested.

Hartsell said it is important for the students to know that there is a
possibility that their names may be called each month.

Cost a Factor

The board members said cost might determine who gets tested and for
what drugs they are tested for next year.

The school system spent almost $30,000 last year. The board tested
every student who participated in an extracurricular activity at least

Definite Deterrent

School resource officer Michael Hudson said the program definitely
lowered tobacco use.

"There were kids in school who told me they were quitting because of
the policy," he said.

Hudson said he is aware that OxyContin is out there, but that he did
not hear any Hartselle student discussing the drug.

The drugs of choice for teenagers are alcohol, marijuana and tobacco,
Hudson said.
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