Pubdate: Wed, 22 Sep 2010
Source: Times-Union (IN)
Copyright: 2010 Times-Union
Author: David Slone, Times-Union Staff Writer
Note: Third of 4-part series
Cited: NIDA Monitoring the Future Survey,


In the 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court expanded schools' power to
randomly drug test students in all extracurricular activities.

"We find that testing students who participate in extracurricular
activities is a reasonably effective means of addressing the school
district's legitimate concerns in preventing, deterring and detecting
drug use," Justice Clarence Thomas, U.S. Supreme Court, said in the
5-4 decision for the case of Board of Education of Independent School
District No. 92 of Pottawatomie County v. Earls.

According to information from the Office of National Drug Control
Policy, the 2002 U.S. Supreme Court decision broadened the authority
of public schools to test students for illegal drugs. The court ruling
allows random drug tests for all middle and high school students
participating in extracurricular activities. Previously, drug testing
had been allowed only for student athletes.

Besides the random drug testing, schools have other means of trying to
keep students away from drugs.

"We have guest speakers in. We also have the SADD program here at the
high school," said Kirk Doehrmann, Tippecanoe Valley High School principal.

Valley also brings the drug dogs in, and does random locker searches.
For the locker searches, a bank of lockers are picked and
administrators search them.

Most area school corporations have SADD programs as well as the DARE
program. School resource officers are in Warsaw, Wawasee and
Tippecanoe Valley.

For the random drug testing, Doehrmann said they don't get the law
involved. The program is through the school corporation and results
aren't provided to law enforcement on a regular basis.

"It's strictly confidential between us and parents, and a coach if
they're involved," he said.

If law enforcement requests a student's test results, Valley may
provide them.

"Our main thing is, we want the kids to change their behavior,"
Doehrmann said.

Since 1975 the Monitor The Future survey has measured drug, alcohol,
and cigarette use and related attitudes among adolescent students nationwide.

Survey participants report their drug use behaviors across three time
periods: lifetime, past year and past month. Overall, 46,348 students
from 386 public and private schools in the eighth, 10th and 12th
grades participated in the 2009 survey.

The survey is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a
component of the National Institutes of Health, and conducted by the
University of Michigan.

According to the results of the 2009 survey, cigarette smoking
continues at its lowest point in the history of the survey on all
measures for eighth-, 10th- and 12th-graders.

Between 2004 and 2009, a drop in the past year use of methamphetamine
was reported for all grades. Among 10th and 12th-graders, five-year
declines were reported for past-year use of amphetamine and cocaine.
Among 12th-graders, past year use of cocaine decreased from 4.4
percent in 2008 to 3.4 percent in 2009.

The survey indicates that from 2004 to 2009, decreases were observed
in lifetime, past year, past month and binge use of alcohol across the
three grades.

In 2009, past-year use of hallucinogens fell among 12th-graders from
5.9 percent to 4.7 percent. Past-year use of LSD also declined from
2008 to 2009 among 12th-graders, from 2.7 to 1.9 percent. In addition,
the study indicates, past-year use of hallucinogens other than LSD,
also among 12th-graders, decreased from 5 to 4.2 percent.

The survey points out four areas of concern.

Marijuana use across the three grades has shown a consistent decline
since the 1990s, but the trend has stalled over the last five years.
Past-year use was reported by 11.8 percent of eighth-graders, 26.7
percent of 10th-graders and 32.8 percent of 12th-graders. Perceived
risk of regular use of marijuana decreased among eighth- and
10th-graders, while perceived availability declined among

Past-year non-medical use of Vicodin and OxyContin increased during
the last five years among 10th-graders. It remained unchanged in
eighth- and 12th-graders. Nearly one in 10 high school seniors
reported non-medical use of Vicodin, while 1 in 20 reported abuse of

When asked how prescription narcotics were obtained for non-medical
use, about 52 percent of 12th-graders said they were given it from a
friend or relative. Thirty-four percent bought them from a friend or
relative, while 30 percent received a prescription for them. A small
number of 12th-graders reported obtaining them from the Internet.
Respondents were able to check multiple sources.

The 2008 to 2009, lifetime, past month and daily use of smokeless
tobacco increased among 10th-graders.

For more information on this survey and related information, visit the
website at
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MAP posted-by: Jo-D