Drug Testing in School
Benefits and downsides of drug testing in schools/ Help for those who test positive. The topic of drugs in schools has always been one that is prevalent in society and a main concern toward protecting our youth. Billions of dollars get spent every year on drug agencies that focus on stopping the importation of drugs to America and their distribution. Some of those funds also go to anti-drug campaigning and agencies that speak to schools and young adults about the dangers of using drugs. Yet with all this money spent on drug enforcement it still seems that drugs are more prevalent in schools and everyday life more than ever.
From my own personal experience and having attended both a public and private high school it was easy to find someone to buy drugs from and even easier to know people that did drugs and went to class high on something. This brings the idea of drug testing in schools to question and whether it should be done to stop drug use before it starts. The main purpose of school drug testing is not to catch kids using drugs, it to keep them from ever using them. Once they use drugs it’s harder for them to break their addiction.
The benefit of drug testing in school would obviously be for preventation and making young adults think twice before getting high. It is surprising that young adults go to school to get a job or career in their future and for that job they must submit a drug test. Yet as far as the school systems that lead to attaining that degree are concerned there is not testing being conducted to see if a student is using drugs. Implementing a drug-testing program in schools at the federal lever would make it mandatory for each student in a private or public school to get tested for any illegal substance use.
A program that test at the beginning, middle, and end of the school year would be most beneficial at the high school level. Also making it a standard that if a student test positive for a drug during their educational career at high school they will not be able to graduate. This may seem harsh but looking at how the graduation rates are now in America a drastic measure must be taken, and a step such as this would make young adults realize that their future and graduating is more important than doing something illegal.
Although this idea may seem a bit drastic it gives school systems the chance to apply a redemption system to students who test positive. Say that a 17-year-old student was to test positive for the use of marijuana, and with this being done he cannot attain a diploma, unless he attends rehab and drug education classes enforced by the school. This gives the young adult the opportunity to not only learn from his mistakes but also make it mandatory for him to learn about the results of his actions and be educated about the detrimental affect of drug use.
The application of a program such as this may seem drastic and possibly even unrealistic but with the amount of drug use prevalent in American schools today maybe something radical must be done. The National Institute of Drug Abuse states that illicit drug use among teenagers has continued at high rates, largely due to the popularity of marijuana. Marijuana use by adolescents declined from the late 1990s until the mid-to-late 2000s, but has been on the increase since then.
In 2012, 6. 5 percent of 8th graders, 17. 0 percent of 10th graders, and 22. 9 percent of 12th graders used marijuana in the past month—an increase among 10th and 12th graders from 14. 2 percent, and 18. 8 percent in 2007. Daily use has also increased; 6. 5 percent of 12th graders now use marijuana every day, compared to 5. 1 percent in the 2007. This change is largely due to the all around change in perception of marijuana in America and the possibility that it may be legalized.
While marijuana is the largest used drug by young adults it is not the only drug that is being distributed and abused by students. The Substance Abuse Organization states that the use of ecstasy and the street drug known as “Molly” is raising at an alarming rate due to its popularity in music and raves that most high school students attend regularly. These statistics and facts call for a drastic change to be made in the school system that is counted on to educate and help bring youth into the real world.
Bringing about a program that requires drug testing in America’s schools is one that would face much adversity and time to apply as well as a lot of expense that the government would have to foot. It is a well-known fact that the American government is well over its head in debt as it is and has already cut funding to the public school system. This alone brings up the a huge challenge to introduce something that many people may see as being a waste of funds, this is a valid argument without a doubt.
Anyone that has the money and resources can visit a smoke or tobacco shop and buy fake urine or a cleansing pill that wipes their system clean of any drug use. This would allow many students to pass through the test and waste funds allocated to stop drug use in the first place. While many challenges may be faced and drug use continues to be frequent in American schools it is vital that a more drastic approach be taken to stop the use of drugs and dangerous substances in todays youth.