• Differences Between States for High School Drug Testing Policies in Sports and Athletics Departments

    Many schools have begun implementing drug testing programs to reduce the rate of drug and steroid abuse on campus and offer assistance to students that are already being affected by this sort of abuse. Rather than penalizing the student, these programs are designed to help them get out of the addiction cycle and prevent later, more severe addiction patterns that they may not be able to cope with. They also offer education and information to students that could be at risk for abuse now or later in life if they are unable to find better coping mechanisms.

    How are Student Athletes Generally Tested for Drug Abuse?

    Typically students are randomly picked out of the various sports teams at the school and under observation asked to submit a urine sample for testing. The sample is then sent off for evaluation. While these results are generally kept confidential, athletes are expected to undergo at least a 30 day suspension from athletic activities if they have a positive test. They will then continue to be side-lined until they can provide a sample which is negative before they can return to competitive play.

    What Differences are There in Procedure Between Different States and Schools ?

    • Pre-Season Testing: While most schools stick to random drug testing, there are also programs that ask students to submit a sample for testing pre-season. If a school asks for this form of testing they are adamant that it is done and done in a timely matter. Students who refuse the test or who don’t get a sample in for testing within 5 days of the scheduled date of testing will be barred from playing team sports that year.

    • 3 Strikes and You’re Out: Some schools are focused on maintain a drug-free atmosphere and therefore punish positive test results further than the standard suspension. You get 3 offenses per four year period. A first offense could mean suspension from leadership roles on athletic teams for that year and a record of the test put in your school record. A second offense could mean being barred from sports for calendar year instead of only a school year and a required chemical dependency counselor. A third offense means the loss of any chance of returning to athletics during your school career at any of the schools in your district and the potential of being kicked out of school if the offense is serious enough.

    In both of these cases confidentiality is put aside in favor of discipline. Athletic drug abuse testing includes the use of anabolic steroids for performance enhancement purposes. Athletes are held more responsible than other students for their drug use whether it is fair or not because of the potential for these steroids being involved. In an effort to curb this, schools develop tighter regulations for student athletes than they do for regular students. Most schools do employ some sort of stricter policy for athletes than they do for regular students (the standard 30 days suspension) but the methods used above are especially punitive toward their sports teams.


    Categories: School & Teenage Drug Testing

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