Random Drug Testing: Waste of Time
Her grades fell. She was always tired. She never seemed to be able to focus at school. Classes she used to be interested in became utterly mundane. Friends she used to care about became replaceable. She stopped spending time with her family. She sat on the bench at every soccer game instead of becoming the star player her coaches thought she could. This is what addiction to drugs can do to a young person's life. Addiction can take away everything that once made that young person happy. The only thing that matters anymore is the drug, getting high, and getting higher. It is a horrible and tragic thing that destroys so many young lives. Some people think that in order to prevent these situations, the best solution is random drug testing. But this is not a reasonable solution whatsoever. Many more students are using and selling drugs as they roam around the campus, but will never be "caught" with such a fickle and illusive process. Random student drug testing is not a plausible solution for the drug problem in public schools; it is unreliable and it infringes on the lives of those students involved.
Those who support random drug testing argue that the growing trend of drug testing a small population of students in a school is effective at attacking the drug abuse problem, because fewer students will use when there is an obvious consequence (Drug Testing in School Activities 2). They believe if a drug problem is identified early enough, there is a better chance for rehabilitation. This is true, and with this approach, maybe one life can be saved (Legal Issues of Dwiggins 2
School Drug Testing 1). Of course it is worth all the trouble of drug testing many innocent students if one drug addict can be identified and helped, but would it not be much better if that same student's drug problem, and hundreds more, could have been prevented altogether? (Student Drug Testing News 1)
We cannot identify a drug problem in a significant number of students if only a small percentage is tested; a solid drug education program would be much more effective. It takes something a lot more earth shattering than the DARE program to steer young people away from experimenting with drugs. Sure, DARE does a great job at teaching kids different ways to say no, but do they ever really learn why they are saying no? Does DARE and similar programs really show young people what they are getting into when they try drugs? What we really need is a drug education program for middle school students, one that shows, and brutally, the dangers of drug abuse and addiction. These kids need to hear firsthand, from recovering addicts, the details of their struggles. They need to hear what it is like to be on the very brink of death, and how it feels to give up everything; house, car, family, and friends, just to get high. They need to hear what a lonely place it is to be an addict. They need to know about the risks of trying a drug, even once, and how addiction can come from the first injection of heroin, a coma can be induced from the first dose of Ecstasy (Urban75 Drug Info). This is a much more powerful tool than making a half-hearted attempt at saving those who have already succumb to the pressures of adolescence, those already addicted, those who could have been saved years before if they had only received a good education on the matter.
People who are pro urinalysis also believe that with the threat of random drug testing, the population of students who decide to use drugs will be much smaller, because they Dwiggins 3
fear the consequences (Drug Testing in School Activities 2). The risk of being discovered might be enough to deter some young people from experimenting with drugs, but this small danger will not be enough to scare off a true addict. Those who are truly addicted are supposed to be the target for the most serious help.
If a student is determined to use drugs and not be...
Cited: Biskupic, Joan. "Drug-testing case generates sparks; Lawsuit over school policy hotly debated." USA Today 20 March 2002, A02.
"Drug Testing In Schools Should Be Sensibly Restricted." Tampa Tribune 22 March 2002, 18.
Franz MD, Joseph C. "Drug Testing in School Activities." Fall 1997. (14 April 2002)
Greenberger, Robert S. "Court to Hear Arguments on Case Pitting Drug Tests Against Privacy." The Wall Street Journal 15 March 2002, B5.
Lane, Charles. "Court to Weigh Drug Testing by Schools; Justices to Decide if Choir, Club Members ' Privacy, Like Athletes ', May Be Breached." The Washington Post 17 March 2002, A10.
"Legal Issues of School Drug Testing." (25 February 2002).
"Student Drug Testing News." (25 February 2002).
"Urban75 Drug Info" (5 March 2002)
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