Professor Jeffrey Hensley
4 March 2019
High School Students Should Be Drug Tested
Drug abuse: a worldwide epidemic that has spread to our youth. The younger generation determines the future of our society. Can we really rely on the youth to better our world if they’re already starting to abuse drugs at such an early age? Schools try to manage their students’ use of drugs by setting anti-drug policies, but these policies are beyond their realm of application outside of school. The federal government needs to make a law that all school districts randomly drug-test their students. Randomly drug testing students has many benefits: it discourages teens from using drugs, it would give teens a reason to say no when faced with peer pressure and more. Drug testing also means early intervention on students’ drugs habits before they become dependent on drugs and develop the psychological and physical deterioration associated with addiction.
There have been multiple studies that researched if drug testing in schools limits substance use. One study made their focus on two rural schools and it suggested that student-athlete drug testing can reduce recent substance use (Sznitman et al 147). Because of this, the Supreme Court sanctions random drug testing for students in school only if they participate in sports or extracurricular activities. However, schools should be able to implement random and suspicionless drug testing of students, regardless if they are involved in athletics or extracurricular activities.
Unplanned drug testing would discourage students from abusing drugs. If teens went home from school with the thought in their head that they could be drug tested the next day, they are less likely to use drugs. According to Tomo Drug Testing, the schools that they service have a drug-testing program in place, and they saw a reduction in drug-related issues at their schools.
Also, the same schools that Tomo Drug Testing service have mentioned that they hear students comment on the positive effects of random drug testing, such as it gives them a reason to resist their peers when they get offered drugs or alcohol. They can blame drug testing instead of them having to express their personal desire to not use drugs. That excuse might not be any better accepted by their friends than the truth, but it allows the students to distance themselves from the decision (WH Magazine). A lot of kids think it’s hard to say no to their peers, especially to those who don’t share the same personal values as themselves, thinking they will be labeled as “uncool” by their classmates. There should be drug awareness programs in all schools that broadcast to students the long-term consequences of drug use and then maybe teenagers won’t think drugs are “cool” anymore.
Another pro of drug testing within schools is it can aid students by providing them with proper counseling. Students who abuse drugs are taking huge risks every time they...