Why Adopt a Student Drug Testing Program?
There are many questions around making a decision to test students for drug use: Is there a need to test? Is it legal to test and if so, who should be tested? In 2007, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) posted a Question and Answer page on its website to help schools answer some of these questions. CDT can help you answer the rest of your questions and assist your school in developing a drug testing program to meet your specific needs.
Is There a Need to Test? According to the NIDA, almost 50 percent of 12th graders admitted to using drugs at least once in their lifetime, and 18 percent reported using marijuana in the last month. Prescription drug abuse is high—with nearly 1 in 10 high school seniors reporting non-medical use of the prescription painkiller Vicodin in the past year. The NIDA also noted that drug use among teens can lead to a wide range of adverse effects on the brain, the body, behavior and health, and that repeated drug use can lead to addiction. Teens who stay away from drugs while in high school are less likely to develop a substance abuse problem later in life.
Is it Legal to Test Students? In June 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court broadened the authority of public schools to test students for illegal drugs with a ruling that allowed random drug testing of all middle and high school students participating in competitive extracurricular activities. State drug testing regulations may vary so schools should get legal counsel before implementing a student drug testing program.
Which Students Can be Tested?
Under the Supreme Court ruling, schools can consider testing the following students:
- Band members
- Students in competitive extra-curricular clubs such as cheerleading, dance teams, academic teams, etc.
When Should You Test?
- Prior to participation in competitive sports or clubs
- When a student’s appearance, behavior, grades, etc. promote a reasonable suspicion of drug use
- On a random basis without prior notification to the student
What Drugs Should You Test For? Typically, a drug panel tests for marijuana, cocaine, opioids, amphetamines, and PCP. If your school has a particular problem with other drugs, such as MDMA, GHB, or steroids, you can include testing for these drugs as well.
What Testing Methods Can be Used? Several testing methods using urine, hair, oral fluids, and sweat (patch) are available, and vary in cost, drugs detected, and detection period. CDT provides reliable testing kits and services and can help your school determine the method that best suits your requirements.
CDT Can Help Your School Implement a Reliable Drug Testing Program
CDT offers more than 20 years of experience administering full-service drug and alcohol testing programs. We understand the unique political, legal and financial requirements and challenges facing school districts, and will customize a program to meet your needs. Services include:
- Policy and program development consultation and assistance
- Onsite and offsite collections assisted by our nationwide network of convenient and secure collection sites
- Certified specimen collectors experienced in working with students
- Stringent Chain of Custody procedures in compliance with all Federal, state and local confidentiality and privacy regulations
- SAMHSA certified laboratory affiliations
- State-of-the-art software for random selection, scheduling and results reporting on a quarterly and annual basis
- Secure, web-based system that provides online review of test results by the Medical Review Officer, client and other authorized users in a timely manner
- Medical Review Officers to ensure the accuracy and defensibility of all test results.
- Quality Control Program that encompasses the highest level of on-going training, management and continued development of procedures to ensure maximum efficiency and compliance as mandated by Federal Guidelines and our clients