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US High School Drug Policy/Testing By: Jonathon Varga.

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1 US High School Drug Policy/Testing By: Jonathon Varga

2 History on Drug Policies in Public Schools  DVP’s under ESEA title IV (1965) authorize the formation of Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act (SDFSCA)  1970’s, president Nixon’s War on Drugs.  In 1982, V.P. George H.W. National War on Drugs campaign to deter drug use in America’s workplace.  America’s Schools Act of 1994.

3 State/Local Level  Drug policies in schools are the responsibility of State and local governments.  Illicit Drugs that are considered illegal on school grounds include:  Marijuana/ Hashish  Inhalants  Hallucinogens  LSD  Cocaine/ Crack  Heroine  Tranquilizers  Alcohol  Tobacco (both Cigarettes and Smokeless)  Steroids  MDMA  Methamphetamine  Vicodin  OxyContin  Any non- prescription drug intended for abuse

4 State Continued  Every State implements in its curriculum its own degree of education on preventing drug and alcohol abuse.  Some schools like Alaska do not require students to take drug prevention education courses, while other states like Indiana and California to provide information on effects of drug, tobacco, and alcohol on the human body from k-12.  Almost every school requires some form of educating students on the effects of drugs, tobacco, and alcohol on the human mind and body.  Information on individual states drug education policy can be found through the National Association of State Boards of Education web page. (NASBE.ORG)

5 National Level  Federal government helps regulate funding for drug awareness and education.  The Office of Safe and Drug- Free Schools (OSDFS) was created under the Department of Education.  Its mission is: “creating safe schools, responding to crises, drug abuse and violence prevention, ensuring the health and well being of students and promoting development of good character and citizenship.”  The OSDFS, through a DVP (Drug-Violence Prevention) provides grants and other financial assistance for drug and violence prevention activities in schools.

6 National continued  While Congress do not set the policies for schools, Congress can help deter drug use through anti- drug campaigns.  The National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign was formed in 1998, with two major area focuses:  Above the Influence (ATI)  Anti-Meth Campaign  Congress also through the OSDFS provide millions of dollars in grant moneys for schools to use in their liking towards drug prevention and testing programs.  One major issue currently with the OSDFS is the eliminating of programs by Congress with recent budget cuts.

7 Drug Testing in Schools  Drug testing in public schools is widely determined by local school districts, without interference by state legislature.  This results in varying policies nationwide, and even from district to district.  While most schools do not drug testing policies, those who do usually administer testing under two categories:  Mandatory suspicionless testing required for students wishing to participate in athletics.  Required for any student who wishes to engage in an extracurricular clubs and organizations.  Money through the OSDFS is often used to fund drug testing of students.

8 Background on Drug Testing in public schools  Began in the 1980’s, growing from the “War on Drugs” campaign.  Started in limited form with testing of student athletes.  Controversial, as students believed drug testing for students to participate in athletics violated their fourth amendment right of illegal search and seizure.  Supreme Court Cases on Drug Policy/ Testing  New Jersey v. T.L.O (1985)  Vernonia v. Acton (1995)  Tannahill v. Lockney School District (2001)

9 Other Methods  Use of dogs to search student lockers for drugs and alcohol in schools has been on the rise.  Random searching for suspicion of carrying drugs.  Students have tried to argue this is against their fourth amendment right.  2002, the Supreme Court, ruled that the search methods by schools was constitutional as long as is goes with efforts for safe and drug free schools.

10 Are current drug policies/testing in US high schools (IV) effective in preventing drug abuse by students (DV) ?

11 Lit Review: Supporters  Tracy Evans-Whipp, in an article of the Oxford Journal, argues that “well implemented school policies are an important component of school-based health promotion” to help prevent substance abuse by students.  According to the ONDCP, “the expectation that [students] may be randomly tested is enough to make some students stop using drugs- or never start in the first place.”  Drug policies are to help “prevent drug dependence and to help drug- dependent students become drug free.”

12 Critics  Robert Taylor argues that drug policies and testing of students in extra curricular activities is in effective and in fact “discourages participation in athletics (and other extra curricular activities) and may actually lead to an increase in overall drug use.”  While Tracy Evan-Whipp argues there is a need for a drug policy and prevention, she also argues that drug policies have the potential to “do harm instead of good,” as it deter student participation in extracurricular activities, but also decreases student attendance in fears of being searched or tested.

13 Statistic on Increase in Drug Use  According to the MTF survey of the NIDA, cigarette use by high school students is decreasing, yet the use of illicit drugs, particularly Marijuana use is on the rise.

14 My Opinion  While its great that use of Cigarette and drugs like cocaine and heroine and meth are declining, the rise in marijuana and alcohol abuse by America’s youth is a troubling reality that is needing of addressing.  Drug abuse is on the rise, and I blame this on current drug testing policies, and insufficient funds of drug prevention education, as well as uniformity of education on drugs.  While I believe there is no true option to reduce drug abuse by students, I feel an increase in funding of drug awareness and education by the Federal Government through DVP’s by the OSDFS is needed.  Current Drug Policies in terms of what should be deemed prohibited use on school grounds should be kept, but random drug testing I agree impedes a students right and can decrease participation in extra curricular activities that in turn can decrease drug use in students.

15 References, Overview  Findlaw. (2011). Drug Testing: Background Information. Thomas Reuters business. Retrieved from  National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign. (2011) Office of National Drug Control Policy. Retrieved from  U.S. Department of Education. (2011). OSDFS. Retrieved from  NASBE Center for Healthy and Safe Schools. (2011). Alcohol, tobacco, and drug use education. Retrieved from catExpand=acdnbtm_catA.

16 References, Lit Review  School drug testing: What is the role of intervention? (2007). Brown University Child & Adolescent Behavior Letter, vol 23 (1), 1-6. Retrieved from 711da86-aed0-4ea2-900a- 5986a031be2b%40sessionmgr14&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWhvc3Qt bGl2ZQ%3d%3d#db=aph&AN=  Taylor, Robert. (2007). Compensating behavior and the drug testing of high school athletes. Cato Journal, vol. 16, (3). Retrieved from 5.html  Whipp-Evans, Tracy., & Beyers, J.M., & Lloyd, S., Lafazia, A.N., & Toumbourou, J.W., et al. (2004). A review of school drug policies and their impact on youth substance use. Health Promotion International, vol. 19, (2), Oxford University Press, Retrieved from

17 References Continued  NIDA. (2010). NIDA info facts: High school and youth trends. NIH, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Retrieved from


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