Pubdate: Tue, 04 Mar 2008
Source: Gadsden Times, The (AL)
Copyright: 2008 The Gadsden Times
Author: Loretta Nall


In response to "Policy is for Prevention" (Feb. 24, 2008) I submit 
the following in hopes of providing parents and educators with good, 
scientific-based reasons to "Just say no to student drug testing."

Oregon Health and Science University researchers just concluded a 
two-year study called SATURN (Student Athlete Testing Using Random 

This is the first-ever prospective, randomized clinical trial to 
measure the deterrent effects of drug and alcohol testing among high 
school athletes. They report random drug and alcohol testing does not 
reliably keep student-athletes from using. They also found drug 
testing increases some risk factors for future substance use. These 
findings are published in the November issue of the Journal of 
Adolescent Health, the journal of the Society for Adolescent Medicine.

Student drug testing places kids in greater danger for a variety of 
reasons. Marijuana is the substance most commonly used by youth and 
is the safest of all substances, both licit and illicit. Students who 
might engage in a little youthful indiscretion by smoking pot once in 
a while, might move to harder drugs like meth and prescription 
narcotics because they are out of your system in 72 hours, whereas 
the broken down metabolites of marijuana, while causing no harm, are 
detectable in the human body for up to 45 days. Kids are also known 
to do crazy things like drink bleach in hopes of masking drugs in 
their system. That is extremely dangerous.

Parents and educators should also be aware that the following 
organizations oppose randomly drug testing students: National 
Education Association, the Association for Addiction Professionals, 
the American Public Health Association, the American Academy of 
Pediatrics, the National Association of Social Workers, and the 
National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.

If that many professionals say no to student drug testing, studies 
show it doesn't work and might even place kids in greater danger then 
why do we continue to see schools push for these invasive and 
dehumanizing programs for our kids?

Loretta Nall

Alexander City
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