Student Drug Testing

Does random drug testing of students reduce drug use?

As we reported earlier, the U.S. States Deparment and Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) organized a regional conference in Budapest last December, where government officials attempted to convince their European colleagues to take into consideration the adoption of “best practices” from America, especially school drug testing, presented as a success story at the event. Since than, ONDCP have made further efforts to advertize random testing of students at other international gatherings, for example at the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in March. Calvina Fay, the executive director of the Partnership for a Drug Free America made an emotional appeal to the Beyond 2008 global NGO forum this May, claiming that school drug testing is an evidence-based demand reduction tool. Unfortunately we cannot show you this speech because we were banned from showing films from the plenary (see our earlier blog and video on this issue), but we interviewed a couple of people about this controversial issue. Unfortunately only one supporter of school drug testing was willing to comment, other like-minded NGO delegates refused to give an interview. Opponents of drug testing argue in our video that to randomly drug test students and exclude them from extracurricular activites is not an effective and ethical way to protect young people from abusing drugs. They refer to a study conducted by researchers of the University of Michigan among 76.000 students. This study showes that drug use was not significantly lower in those schools where drug testing was applied, what is more, drug testing had some unintended consequences as well.

 Watch our video and learn more!

Posted by Peter Sarosi

If you would like to comment on this article please go to the mirror page on our Drug Policy website!

Share

Related articles

I am afraid to speak up

Roma travelling by bicycle in Kesznyéten are systematically fined for trivialities and receive disproportionate fines for minor offences. When our film crew visited Kesznyéten, they interviewed non-Roma cyclists as well. Out of these randomly chosen 10 individuals there was only one person who had received a fine for a cycling offence. Even though on average (as seen in the accompanying video), their bicycles were not in better condition or better equipped. Still, the Non-Roma travelling by bicycle are not even stopped by the police.

'I would like to send Viktor Orbán a message'

Wife and husband cannot find employment. It is very difficult to send three children to school on only a family allowance and welfare. They are moving, because they feel they have no opportunities in Borsod (county in Hungary.)

Without Rights

A new documentary film by HCLU on the situation of Romani people in Hungary. Why would a local government pass a law that forces clubs to close at 10 pm, in an area where the only place open at that time happenes to be Romani? How can someone be accused of carrying 700 kg of wood on a bicycle? How can a case be labelled as a false alarm when the whole street witnessed a gun being pointed at a pregnant woman? How can the parents of six children be put in prison for two of their children skipping school? The film deals with such issues.