SCHOOL TESTING

 

 

"Good, solid students...a straight "A" kid... a model student with great potential... an all-around kid, smart and athletic..."

 

Do these catch phrases sound familiar? You may be surprised to learn that not only are all of these kids worried about their SAT scores, but some of them abuse drugs and alcohol as well. This statement shouldn't come as a shock, considering that "good kids" often feel the pressure of not only other peers, but also from teachers and parents, who rightly expect them to perform to the best of their abilities. These star students will sometimes turn to substances to help them sleep after a stressful exam (these are called benzodiazapines), or take some pills to help them stay awake and study (these are called amphetamines). Even habits that start will the best of intentions can have drastic, detrimental effects - even occasional use can lead to dependency and overdose, and often lead to other drugs with similar effects. Cocaine, for example, has a stimulating effect.

 

Of course, not all "good kids" engage in the risky behavior of substance abuse. Every student is subjected to some degree of peer pressure, and the bottom line is kids from every walk of life are potential targets for the addictive nature of such drugs - and the destructive and DEADLY effects of drinking and driving.

 

FACT: 38.4% of 9th through 12th graders reported using marijuana one or more times during their life.

 

FACT: 12.4% of 9th through 12th graders reported using inhalants for the purpose of achieving a high one or more times during their life.

 

FACT: For the first time in reported history, there are just as many new abusers (aged 12 and older) of prescription drugs as there are for marijuana (SAMSHA, 2006).

 

FACT: In 2005, 2.1 million teens abused prescription drugs (NSDUH, 2006).

 

While all students in a school or school district cannot be drug tested, volunteer organizations, clubs, and activities can require their participants to undergo drug and alcohol screenings. Not only does implementing drug and alcohol testing for organizations cast a strong, negative attitude regarding drugs to the entire school, it also gives students a reason to say no to drugs. Students who use drugs are statistically more likely to drop out of school, bring guns and knives to school, and be involved in physical attacks, property destruction, stealing, and cutting classes (SAMHSA, 2004). Drug abuse not only interferes with a student's ability to learn, remember, and absorb information; drug use also disrupts the orderly, educational environment necessary for students to succeed. By reducing the likelihood of these disruptive behaviors, everyone - teachers and students alike - benefits.