New study indicates that high school student use of alcohol, marijuana, and cigarettes does not decrease in regards to high school drug testing policies
A new study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs indicates that high school drug testing does not have as much impact on students as one might think. High school drug testing is commonly expected for participation in sports and specialty clubs in some schools.
The new study shows that the rate of students using marijuana, alcohol, and cigarettes is not affected by high school drug testing.
Dr. Daniel Romer of the University of Pennsylvania interviewed 361 students in regards to their high school drug testing policy, and their illegal substance use. Of the 361 students, 33 percent claimed that their school did indeed have a drug testing policy. Of the students interviewed, those who indicated that their school had a high school drug testing policy were not any less likely to try illegal substances.
Dr. Daniel Romer did find that students who were involved in sports or clubs, those whom the high school drug testing policies mostly apply to, were somewhat less likely to try illegal substances.
Dr. Daniel Romer states that 66 percent of high school students try alcohol before becoming the legal drinking age. He reportedly blames television broadcasting, namely during sports broadcasting, for making alcohol look appealing to younger crowds.
If high school drug testing won’t deter students from trying illicit substances, what will? According to Dr. Romer, marijuana and cigarette usage were 15 to 20 percent lower in schools that promoted a mutual respect amongst teachers and students. He also claims that, “whole school health promotion efforts and interventions that work with students, teachers, and parents to develop positive school staff–student relationships and promote students’ security have been found to reduce substance use.”
Dr. Daniel Romer notes that further research is required in order overcome some limitations of the study.