• Should Teens be screened for Drug Use?

    According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), teens are very vulnerable to drug abuse. Despite its ongoing issue on privacy and ethics, schools and supporting organizations have find it necessary to conduct drug testing among teens to prevent drug abuse, help addicted teens recover from drug addiction by referring them to effective drug treatment programs, and assess misconduct in terms of unexpected criminal and sexual assault between teenagers.

    Furthermore, NIDA asserts that drug testing does not aim to “punish students who are caught positive” during the test. Drug testing on teens that are conducted by schools basically serve as a preventive measure that gives students reason to resist peer pressure as well as identify and help addicted students to their full recovery until they are drug-free.  Likewise, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) strongly recommends that adolescents should routinely be screened for illicit substance abuse as well as HIV. Record in 2006 show that there were more than 1.1 million people who are living in the United States are HIV-positive and most are also associated with drug abuse. While drug testing helps assess positive students, AAP also aims to provide adequate treatment and support to teens who are suffering from the illness.

    Following established models in schools, drug testing on teens can be administered based on reasonable suspicion, post-accident testing, random drug testing, mandatory drug testing, and follow-up drug testing. Drug testing is also administered during sports events where athletes are prone to abusing prescription drugs to enhance performance such as steroids.  A drug test can be done in three ways which include urine drug test, saliva test, and hair follicle test.

    The National Institute on Drug abuse consistently conduct drug testing on teens annually as part of the National Institute of Health and US Department’s goal to assess drug addiction among youth with age 12 and above. Drug testing basically tests for a panel of drugs which include marijuana, cocaine, opioids, amphetamines, PCP, MDMA, GHB, and steroids. Likewise, a concern parent can also perform drug testing at home using drug test kits in order to asses drug use while it is not yet too late.

    In the 2011, there were 400 public and private schools which participated the Monitoring the Future Survey (MTF) of which 46, 773 students were screened for drug use. According to the latest survey by NIDA, teen addiction has consequently dropped by year, however; its prevalence in the society still needs attention. In 2008, the 47 percent of teens who were found to use drugs by the time they finish high school, encourage drug abuse organizations to continue conducting drug testing on teens.

    NIDA, however; help supports one of the world’s largest research on teen drug abuse by providing programs and improving practices that minimize teen drug addiction. The organization strongly acknowledges the effects of drug abuse to interfere the person’s ability to think, learn, while it also disrupts the teaching environment affecting other students as well.


    Categories: School & Teenage Drug Testing

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